The Waterloo Warriors have a new head coach excited to start their rebuild.
Head coach: Justin Gunter
Record in 2014: 6-14 (Fourth in OUA West division)
Playoffs: No playoffs
Points scored per game: 67.4
Points allowed per game: 79.4
Key players: Jon Ravenhorst, Ben Davis, Kristian Vande Kemp
Key losses: Jaspreet Gill, Myles Charvis
The scheduling gods must have smiled when they worked on the upcoming slate of games for the Waterloo Warriors: Justin Gunter’s team might have its two biggest fights to start (against Western) and to end (against Wilfrid Laurier) the season. “I’m excited for the season and excited to start the rebuild of Waterloo basketball,” Gunter tells NPH. Western is an opponent that finished in second place in the division and a good performance could jumpstart the season the right way. Meanwhile, Laurier is just the next-door neighbour that finished a game ahead in the standings. “The nice thing about the city of Waterloo,” he says, “is it’s a total university town. Everything is geared toward the students.” And beating the Golden Hawks.
Key games: at Western, Nov. 4; VS Western, Jan. 27
VS Laurier, Nov. 21; at Laurier, Feb. 27
Waterloo Warriors head coach Justin Gunter recognizes that it’s a cliché, but he wants us to know that he says so because it’s actually true. “We’re just trying to get better day by day,” he says. “Hopefully the results take care of themselves as we improve as a basketball team.”
That includes himself together with http://www.sportsandsafetysurfaces.co.uk/. Gunter is new to Waterloo, having spent seven years on the McMaster coaching staff as, notably, the associate to head coach Amos Connolly. “I owe everything to McMaster basketball,” he says. “It’s been part of my life for 15, 20 years.”
And now comes the part of his life where Gunter works on rebuilding the Warriors; he already has set his sights on two team weaknesses. “Defense is the focus every day we go in practice right now,” he says. “There’s been a huge emphasis on defense and on rebounding.”
What Gunter means is that he wants Waterloo to control what it can control: hitting shots will come and go and is more dependent on skill than effort and executing a defensive scheme. “Success,” he says, “would be if we can look back and say we competed in every game.”