WCCS’ Evans has had busy first month on job

Published 9:04 pm Thursday, May 28, 2015

Duane Evans has been preparing himself for a head varsity basketball or college coaching position for years. He’s used most of his summer off-time to go to college basketball camps around the country, including Auburn, Duke, VCU and Michigan State, and has had served as Selma High School’s B-team basketball coach since 2008.

The opportunity he’s been waiting on finally presented itself last month when he accepted the job to become head men’s basketball coach at Wallace Community College Selma.

“It was something I was doing over the years — just preparing myself,” Evans said. Over the last eight or nine years I’ve taken basketball so serious that I’ve talked to so many high school coaches and college coaches, just about how I want to do things once I got a chance to be a head coach. I know it’s not going to be easy. I know it’s going to be a tough road, but I think it’s a challenge that I’m looking forward to facing.”

After accepting the job April 15, Evans said it’s been a hectic first month.

With only four returning players, he had to work feverishly to catch up on the recruiting trail. Luckily, that’s where his knowledge of the high school game came in handy since he’d already seen players from all around the state as an assistant coach for the Saints’ varsity.

“It’s been a lot of phone calls and a lot of mileage put on cars just gong out and trying to recruit players that are going to fit into what we are trying to do,” Evans said. “It’s been a tough month, but we made some good progress.”

Evans takes over for Foster Davis, who led the Patriots to the quarterfinals of the Alabama Community College Conference tournament this past season.

However, this team will look entirely different with limited experience returning.

Evans is still working on filling out his roster and his coaching staff and at this point he’s not entirely sure what style of play will fit his team.

He said he’s not sure whether they’ll slow it down or speed up the tempo, and he won’t know until he really gets a chance to evaluate the guys he signs.

“There are certain standards and there are certain philosophies and principles that are going to go in place, but I really don’t know the style of basketball we are going to play until we get these guys in here and we go up and down the floor and we see what we actually have,” Evans said.

However, he does know the college game is going to be much faster than the high school level.

“I know the game is going to speed up a whole lot faster and you have a shot clock involved that was not involved in high school and you have to have guys that can play at all levels,” Evans said. “High school teams were fortunate enough to have maybe two or three guys that can play but now you are going to be looking at five, six, seven, eight guys on the floor at one time that can play.”

While his time on the road has made this a busy first month, there have been other factors too. After accepting the job, Evans said he’s heard a lot from naysayers, who don’t believe he has the experience required to do the job in front of him.

He said the number of games the Patriots win won’t be determined by his knowledge of the game of basketball.

“Coaching is a tough job. You have to have tough skin,” he said. “I think everybody in the stands can coach a basketball team but it’s tough. You are successful when — it doesn’t matter what the coach knows, it matters what you’ve gotten across to your guys on the floor. I can know everything in the world and the assistant coach can know everything in the world, but it’s mainly going to depend on what we can instill in our guys to put them on the floor to play the game of basketball that we want to play.”