The McPherson Bullpups boys Basketball team begins this season missing four starters from last year’s squad. That team finished with a 15-6 record last year and lost to Bishop Carroll in the Sub-State finals. They were also 9-1 in division play and AVCTL 3 league champions. The lone starter left from last year’s group is Senior Cody Stufflebean. Stufflebean, a Kansas State football signee, averaged 13.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, and nearly two assists a game last season. The football star can also hoop! Stufflebean has been a stand-out on the gridiron this season; his last game was one of the most impressive football games I’ve seen from a high school player. Stufflebean will have to get himself into basketball shape quickly after the football postseason. The two sports require completely different conditioning.
Sophomore Seth Madron, a rotation player last year, looks to build on a strong freshman season in which he averaged nearly four points a game. This team has good size, Stufflebean stands 6’4″ and fellow Seniors Sam Pyle and Cooper Courtney are 6’5″ and 6’3″, respectively. It will be extremely interesting to chart who fills out the starting lineup, which is still very much in flux, and which players will emerge as the new standard-bearers for the Bullpups. Hopefully, the Bullpups basketball team has an auspicious start to the season and can win the State Championship; something they haven’t done since the undefeated 2014-15 season. Coach Kurt Kinnamon has piloted this extremely successful program, and losing players is old hat to him. He will prepare these guys to the best of his ability for the long season.
What follows is taken from a season preview provided by the McPherson Basketball program and, directly after, a couple of questions I asked head coach Kurt Kinnamon about the upcoming season:
Starters Lost: (4)
Kyler Hoppes- McPherson College football signee
Jake Alexander- Mid-America Nazarene basketball signee
Jace Kinnamon- Emporia State football signee
Returning Starters (1) HT YR WT PPG RPG APG SPG BPG
Cody Stufflebean 6’4 Sr. 240 13.1 8.9 1.6
Jaytin Alexander 5’9 Jr. 160
Cooper Courtney 6’3 Sr. 170 1.9
Adam Elliott 6’0 Jr. 180
Seth Madron 6’1 Soph. 175 3.8
Eli Pyle 5’10 Jr. 150
Sam Pyle 6’5 Sr. 180 1.5
Hayes Schmid 6’0 Sr. 150 2.5
- Perimeter shooting, this team should be a very good outside shooting team.
- Rebounding- This is a team with good length that should do well on the offensive and defensive glass.
- Versatility- There are several guys that are interchangeable and can play a variety of positions.
AVCTL 3 Predicted order of finish
- McPherson 2. Buhler 3. Augusta 4. Circle 5. Winfield
Andover Central, Maize, Wichita Heights, Wichita Carroll, Goddard Eisenhower.
Best Players in State
Easton Hunter-Andale, Xavier Bell- Andover Central, Jack Johnson- Andover, Tre Washington- Derby, Omar Bradley- Blue Valley West, Grady Dick- Collegiate, Austin Krogmeier- Newton, Manns- Carroll, Littlejohn- Carroll, Lankford- Carroll
What are some points of emphasis that you think will be key to a successful season?
Coach Kinnamon: I think a point of emphasis this year will be taking a great deal of pride in our performance on the defensive end. I think we will have very balanced scoring and should have a nice inside/outside game. I think we have several players that can score so it will be hard for opponents to focus their attention on any one player.