Cougars look to run


Ethan Divis

The words up tempo haven’t been associated with Kennedy basketball in years past, but with a new coach and a new system that’s all about to change.

Traditionally, in the past, Kennedy hasn’t been too up tempo. Former head coach Bob Fontana, who left to return to his home town and coach at Ankeny Centennial, prefers the more slowed down game.

But new head coach Jon McKowen wants to change all of that.

“The kids want to run, so that’s easy,” McKowen said. “The tough part is breaking habits and truly running the right way. We want to run because we have good team speed and we’re deep.”

Kennedy unveiled their new offense in an Iowa Hall of Pride scrimmage last Saturday at Kirkwood. Despite losing to Xavier 54-47, new head coach Jon McKowen was encouraged by what he saw.

“We’re trying to do a lot of new things so it was going to be interesting to see how we responded,” McKowen said. “At times I thought we responded really well.”

Senior John Bardsley thinks that the change won’t be too hard to adjust to.

“It’s not that tough of a change, it’s nothing to make an excuse about,” Bardsley said.  Bardsley led the Cougars in scoring with 18 points.

Defensively McKowen wants to change some things up as well.

“We’re playing man and we want to be solid in the man but instead of just coming over to help we want to come over and attack the ball,” McKowen said. “It’s just more of an attacking mentality.”

Last season Kennedy finished with an 11-10 record and lost in the first round of sub state, but McKowen thinks his team will be tough to beat come that time this year.

“We have high expectations towards the end of the year,” McKowen said. “We’re going to be really tough to guard because we have shooters all around the floor. Defensively is going to be the difference, can we do things to take people out of their offense? If we can do that we have high expectations.”