Lakeview Boys Basketball 2018-19 Season Preview
Tyler Colvin takes over a Lakeview boys basketball program searching for its first winning season in five years.
Colvin, a 2008 graduate of Doane, has spent the past eight years leading the boys program in Pawnee City where the Indians won a Class D-1 state championship in 2012 and took third place a year earlier.
In those eight seasons, Colvin guided Pawnee City to a 155-118 overall record, five winning seasons and three with 20 or more wins.
Lakeview, on the other hand, has had win totals of six, nine, two and three since going 16-8 in 2014.
Colvin welcomes the challenge of restoring the Vikings back to their familiar spot challenging for state tournaments as well as discovering if his style and approach translates to a higher level of competition.
“And I like the size of the school,” he said Wednesday before practice. “I thought this was a school that’s kind of a diamond in the rough. They’ve had some success, had some tough years recently, but I think it’s one of those deals that if you get people excited about it, and get everybody on the same page, you have a chance to be successful.”
Colvin’s chance includes a roster that features five seniors but nobody who scored in double figures a year ago. Still, those who graduated added up to nearly 29 points per game. It doesn’t sound like much until considering the Vikings barely scored over an average of 40 meaning those who moved on to the next phase in life took almost 60 percent of the scoring with them.
Lakeview opened with an 0-5 start last season and never really got on track. The highest output of the season was 53 points. The lowest was just 17 in a loss to Seward.
The Vikings scored fewer than 30 two more times and gave up 60 or more six times. All things considered, the defense was OK, but the offense was always a struggle.
Colvin has been in a similar situation before. When he first took over in Pawnee City, the Indians were coming off a year in which the team scored right around 42 points per game. Though the Indians won 10 games, they also suffered through a five-game skid.
Colvin, of course, isn’t quite the same coach as 10 years ago. There’s a wife and children in his life in addition to a decade of experience drawing up practice plans, scheming gameplans and shouting orders from the sideline.
“When I was young and first out of college, I don’t think I knew what I wanted to do. After having 11 seasons under your belt, you have a pretty long list of things you want to do,” he said. “It’s been a challenge to prioritize, figure things out and get enough time in to be prepared.”
As Colvin learns the skills and personalities of his guys, and they process the same information about him, there are a few things that make the top of the list - effort, selflessness and defense.
The program he built in Southeast Nebraska always prided itself on playing hard, playing within a specific role and being mentally tough on the defensive side of the floor.
Like any good coach, Colvin will adapt the style he prefers to his personnel, but those three elements seem non-negotiable.
“Sometimes you have to accept a role that’s maybe not your favorite thing, but it’s what’s best for the team to be successful,” he said. “At Pawnee, we were always solid defensively. We kind of hung our hat on that in terms of actual play on the court.”
In two weeks, Colvin has seen the Vikings begin to adopt those principles. It will take a game or two to adequately figure out what he has, and in that time, the bench could swell as large as 10, 11 or 12 until the right players are identified.
Some underclassmen have come in and shown that they deserve an opportunity, but in the end, it will come down to the team-first mentality Colvin preaches each day in the gym.
“I think guys are finding out that maybe they thought they were this, but they’re starting to see they’re being more successful in a different role,” he said. “I knew our younger kids had some talent, and I really like they’re work ethic. Our older guys, we’re still figuring out how our strengths work in some of the systems we’re trying to put in place.”
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor for the Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org