In his second season as the head coach of Lehman High’s boys basketball team, Steve Pinchback is aiming to get the program on the right track.
By notching seven wins over the program’s first ten games, Lehman has already secured nearly half the wins the team had last season.
The difference this season has been playing smarter basketball and having a 1-0 mentality.
“To tell you the truth it’s been a 1-0 mentality,” said Pinchback. “What are we going to do to go 1-0? Every game is 1-0. It’s a new game and a new season, just one game at a time and see where this takes us.”
During the offseason, Pinchback wanted the Lobos to focus on getting stronger and putting time in the weight room. So far this season, the Lobos have been able to show off their hard work with a winning record through the first ten games.
“Endurance-wise I think they are great, I think my kids can play a whole game,” Pinchback said. “My main focus was getting stronger, getting in the weight room, and I can tell that it’s paying off. I had a friend come in from out of town that saw them last year, and saw them this year, and he said they are looking stronger and playing stronger. So that was my focus. We aren’t done yet, but it’s in the right direction.”
According to Pinchback, this year’s squad has shown a lot of growth over the first ten games of the season. Confidence, swag, hustle and heart were the words Pincback used to describe his team’s mentality.
“We don’t have a lot of height, but we just get after it,” said Pinchback. “We are a group of guys that care for each other, we put team first and we want to have our brothers’ backs and not let each other down. That’s what I like, that’s what I’m all about is family.”
Lehman senior point guard Cameron Jones, a four-year player in the program, is someone who has really taken a step up in a leadership role this season. Pinchback envisioned Jones as an extension of himself on the court, and Jones has already shown glimpses of that so far this season.
“When I came in he (Cameron) was more of a leader by just doing,” Pinchback said. “My thing was to get him to the next level, yes, there are leaders like that and I appreciate it, but you’ve got to be a little bit more vocal. I told Cam this is your team, we are going to live or die with you, but I need you to be a little bit more and that’s what I’ve got to bring out of you.”
With district play set to start this week, the Lobos still have their 2018 season goal of making the playoffs on the table, something the Lehman basketball program hasn’t achieved at the 6A level. In order to achieve their goal, Pinchback said the team will have to play smart basketball the rest of the season.
“Beat the teams you’re supposed to beat, and be the smartest team in Texas,” said Pinchback. “That’s my thing is I tell these kids we need to be very cerebral. Let’s out think our opponent, let’s be smarter than them. Because this game is mental. I tell them it’s not about the other team, that has nothing to do with being successful. It’s all about us. So let’s focus on us.”
The Lobos opened district play at Westlake Dec. 4. Lehman hosts Lake Travis at home on Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m.