Emporia State basketball made big-time strides under first-year head coach Craig Doty last season, but with his incoming recruiting class, he’s hoping to set the program up for a long time.
Doty had a tough job coming in late last year and filling out a roster that was capable of competing in the MIAA
“There was a sense of urgency last year to bring in players that wouldn’t necessarily develop in the program but ones that were already ready to compete at a high level and get us off that foal line and move that ball towards the 50-yard line,” Doty said.
A postseason win and moving up six spots in the conference standings was great, but now it’s time to really get to work. Heading into year two, Doty is bringing in guys to establish the program.
“We’re not afraid if we have to take a step back to take many steps forward and when I say that I mean that we’re gonna put some 18 and 19-year-olds on the floor this next season. That’s important for us to build this program up. you know, this past season, we had a bunch of 22-23-year-olds, a lot of seniors, but a lot of seniors, but a lot of guys that were new to me as a coach and had transferred down from division one.”
The former national champion is confident building familiar faces in White Auditorium will take this program to a new level.
“It’s just great class balance so then in a couple years when you see this freshman blossom, they’ve been in the program for two years, they’re taking over primary roles in the program, maybe some this year, but mostly as sophomore and juniors, and we can see some continuity in the program and just build it from the ground up. if there’s gonna be some growing pains early in the season, that’s ok, and we didn’t want to keep putting a band-aid on the problem, we want to heal it, we want to grow it from the ground up and I think we’ll be able to do that with this roster and this class that we’ve brought in.”