BBALL PREVIEW | New-look Warriors plan to run

  • Tue Nov 29th, 2011 7:48pm

By David Pan Weekly Herald sports editor

EDMONDS — The Edmonds-Woodway boys basketball team is sporting a new look both on the court and on the bench.

First-year head coach Steve Call leads a revamped Warriors squad that saw seven seniors graduate last season.

Senior guard Grant Pattison said that Call definitely is putting his imprint on the Warriors.

“There’s a whole new atmosphere,” said Pattison, one of a handful of players with varsity experience. “He’s definitely here to win. We’re all here for that too.”

Call coached three years at Shoreline Christian High School and led the Crusaders to an 18-8 overall record and a second-place finish in the Northwest 1A/2B League last season.

The Edmonds-Woodway roster is young with four seniors, five juniors and a pair of sophomores. In addition to Pattison, the only players with significant varsity experience include junior point guard Devin Joseph and sophomore center Travis Bakken. Junior forward Alex Hull and junior center Henri Olson also saw some varsity playing time.

The experience level may be limited but Call sees a lot of raw talent.

“We have size and we have speed,” he said.

Joseph has all the tools he needs to excel as a point guard.

“He’s smart. He’s quick,” Call said. “He gets to the hoop real well. He’s our captain. He’s a floor leader. He’s worked really hard in the offseason. He’s an encouraging leader. He’s what we’re looking for in a point guard.”

Joseph makes his teammates better, Pattison said.

“He’s a good passer. He penetrates,” Pattison added. “He kicks it out. He’s good at setting up other people to score.”

With most of the team’s top scorers gone, some of the offensive load likely will fall to Pattison. It may take him a while to get back into basketball form since he was sidelined with a wrist injury. The start of practices last week was Pattison’s first week back.

“He’s still getting into basketball shape,” Call said.

While Joseph and Pattison can run the court well, Edmonds-Woodway’s big men – Bakken (6-foot-7) and Olson (6-8) – aren’t slouches when it comes to the transition game.

“We’ve trained really hard since the first day,” Call said. “They’re in shape. They’re expected to run. They know that. … We’re trying to run. We’ve got speed. We want to be able to (play) defense and rebound and run.”

Pattison expects Bakken and Olson to create plenty of havoc for the opposition.

“We’re going to have really strong posts this year,” Pattison said. “We’re going to get a lot of teams in foul trouble.”

Joseph said that if the Warriors can’t get out on the transition, they know who to look for.

“Then we’ll just give it to the big men,” he said.

Call prefers that his team play tough man-to-man defense but he’s also considering doing some zone.

“We’re still experimenting,” he said. “What works best for us? What would be good for us? We start with man, ball pressure and lots of energy.”

Edmonds-Woodway has three non-league games scheduled for this week before Western Conference 4A play kicks off against Jackson on Dec. 5.

“We’re really using the week to really assess where we’re at, what we need to focus on defensively and what’s working for us offensively,” Call said. “We’ll see how our speed looks in the open court.”

Call noted that it takes time for players to become totally at ease with a coach and his philosophy. So far it’s gone well for Edmonds-Woodway.

“We all adapted really well,” Pattison said. “We’re all getting along really well.”

Joseph appreciates the straightforwardness of Call.

“He’s hard-working,” Joseph said. “If you work hard, you’re probably going to get minutes on the floor.”