STORY & PHOTO
BY CRISTIAN SANDOVAL
This year’s Cypress men’s basketball team is full of new faces. The 13 man roster, coached by Andrew Alhadeff, has a total of ten freshmen additions to the team and three sophomores. It hasn’t been an easy task for coach Alhadeff to assemble a new team, and have it all come together, especially at the JC level.
“Freshmen are always tough at our level because JC sometimes is looked down upon as a lesser style of basketball or lesser athletic level of basketball but it’s not. Community College basketball is very good,” said Cypress Head Coach Andrew Alhadeff.
The Chargers sit in sixth place of the Orange Empire Conference with a record of 15-10, falling short of their goal to finish on top of the OEC.
“We obviously want to win the OEC, which is the toughest conference in the state. Obviously we fell short of that goal this season,” said Alhadeff
Cypress has done an adequate job of taking advantage of home-court games as the Chargers have a record of 6-3 when playing at home, but things haven’t gone their way when playing on the road. The Chargers have struggled more when visiting teams coming up with six wins and seven losses. The majority of losses suffered by the Chargers this season against Conference rivals, range between two to five points.
“We’ve screwed up down the stretch. We’ve lost a lot of close games… and guys being confident in themselves, confident in their teammates,” said Alhadeff.
Even though it has been an up and down season for the Chargers, having to connect with his team and trying to change his coaching ways is something that Alhadeff has taken away from this season. Coach Alhadeff feels he hasn’t done a great job when it comes to coaching his team this season and will look to improve his methods for the following season.
“I am connecting to them. Doing things like meeting with them individually, talking about life. This group has taken a while for them to trust me and for me to trust them. That’s what I’ve taken away. I need to do a better job in teaching and coaching. I don’t think I’ve done a great job this year. It all starts with me. I got to look in the mirror. I got to do better… and grow as a coach so I hope to do that during this offseason,” said Alhadeff
With three games left in the season, coach Alhadeff has described this season for everybody as a challenge due to leadership among his players and because of the amount of time the adjustment period has taken.
“Challenging because we are young. Challenging because at times it has taken us longer to learn things… challenging that in our team has very little leadership. We have a bunch of nice guys but we don’t have anybody that’s willing to call each other out. So that’s been a challenge,” said Alhadeff.
Even though it hasn’t been the season that coach Alhadeff had hoped for, he believes that a year from now things will be a little different, as most of his freshmen players will return with more experience, which will help them down the stretch.
“I see them a lot more confident. We’ve screwed up down the stretch. We’ve lost a lot of close games… and guys being confident in themselves, just the experiences are invaluable. So I think we are going to be more confident and be stronger. We are going to be more mature. I think we’ll grow defensively,” said Alhadeff.