ASHLAND, Ore. — A new year always brings new challenges for the Southern Oregon men's basketball head coach Brian McDermott, but with 23 seasons under his belt, it's just another day at the office.
After earning his 500th win as a college basketball head coach back in November, McDermott has continued to put his focus into making sure this year's team clicks.
He returns 13 players from last year's team that made it to the finals in the Cascade Conference tournament. Those players, however, are being put into newer, elevated roles compared to years past. In order to sift through the multitude of players to find the core group, McDermott made a promise early this year.
"We made a commitment in the Spring that we were going to play everybody and that's hard with as many people as we have," McDermott said. "We still don't know who's going to be the top eight, top nine, we still don't know all that yet."
With conference play quickly approaching, McDermott knows that he and his team won't have it totally figured out by Friday. Instead, he is waiting for that moment during the season where his outlook on his team right before a game changes.
"You never know how long it's going to take but you know when it's happened when you start to trust them more," McDermott said. "Coaches are weird sometimes like that. You go along in your season where you're not sure when you step on the court if you can play that night against somebody. And then as they prove it more and more you get more trust in your team and then you feel like you can win every night that you step out there."