By Juan Calvillo
Huskies basketball head coach John Mosley and his team are currently ranked fourth in the state and are working toward a state title this season.
Finishing third, last season in the state of California, has the team excited to keep the momentum going and use it this time around.
The 2018-19 season was good for the Huskies in rebounds.
The team put up a large number that brought the team into first for offensive rebounds, with 15.2 per game during the 2018-19 season.
As well as coming in second in total rebounds for the conference with 42.9.
Mosley said rebounding is all part of the team’s strategy and something they plan on keeping and working on.
“We want to play a little bit faster, make sure that our defense is there. Our identity is defense and rebounding, if we can see that early then they [players] can kind of give me [a] heads up on what kind of team we’re going to have. If we defend well. If we rebound well,” Mosley said.
He said that this season is already off to a good open, starting with a record of 4-1.
The team also came off of a win in the College of the Canyons tournament, and a win on the road over Arizona Mesa Community College.
The 2019-20 season is knocking on the door of the Huskies, and Mosley wants the team to be ready for it.
While most students were taking Veterans Day as a day to relax, Mosley had the Huskies running drills and doing weight training.
All the work that the team puts in, is to prepare for the next step Mosley wants these young men take.
“We’ve done all the statistical. We’ve done the winning. We’ve won conference championships. We’ve got one goal left. It is to win a state championship.We were in the state championship in 2015, the first time in school history,” Mosley said.
He said the point of actually winning the state championship is for the team to secure financial scholarships for their next steps in school and sports.
“I think we have the talent to win it, but you [got to be] almost perfect. And luck and everything needs to happen when you get to the playoffs,” Mosley said.
Winning state is not just on Mosley’s mind. His players are also committed to winning.
Deshaun Highler, a second-year guard on the team, said, “Yeah, I want to win a state championship. Nothing else.”
Malik Muhammed, the team’s second-year center, said it’s about helping the team, from his perspective.
“Just do whatever I can to help the team win. That’s my goal. Me personally, I don’t care about points. I’m just trying to do my job,” Muhammed said.
Good habits are key to keeping the edge for the team said Mosley. He said that when adversity creeps up they’re able to handle it because of the good habits they have cultivated during the season.
With so much work being done it seems that the game is the only important thing, but Mosley is no taskmaster to his players.
While taking a breather during last week’s practice, Mosley and the team chatted about random things from popular sayings to religion.
Mosley said that there is always a personal relationship with players on his team.
This is due to the amount of time that has been put into players since the recruiting stages.
Having seen them grow up in front of his eyes and working so closely with them has given birth to his attitude of “Rules without relationship equals rebellion.” Mosley also said that the group is constantly together.
“Spending time together. And not just on the court. But spending time mentoring off the court. Spending time in study hall, I mean we spend more time together than anybody can imagine,” Mosley said.
He said that the time and energy players put in and is put into them is intense.
His players have to be in and out in four semesters.
Players work hard at not only the game but at school as well.
Mosley was proud that his team grade point average is above a 3.0.
He said the purpose is for the young men to move on to a D1 school.
Mosley said that the team supports each other on and off the court.
He said that each player holds the other accountable for not only their game performance but also their scholastic performance.
Mosley said that it was all about creating a winning mindset for his players.
He said that the one characteristic that is paramount for his team is toughness.
“Just having a toughness about your approach to coming everyday. It’s hard to come everyday. To come to school everyday and then come to practice,” Mosley said.
“Practice is emotional and its physical and it’s tiring. And having the toughness to execute that everyday and that’s our philosophy toughness and respect.”