Tyler Howsen.jpg (joel)

Tyler Howsen is the new head coach of the basketball program at West Feliciana High School

If you ask Coach Tyler Howsen what his one goal coming into this season was, it would be a three-word answer: change the culture.

Coach Howsen has a vision for what his basketball program should be. It’s not there yet, but Howsen, his assistant coaches and his players are working tirelessly every day to push in the right direction.

The West Feliciana boys’ basketball coach earlier this week gave a team update and somewhat of a midseason report card.

“I am extremely proud of our guys’ resilience,” Howsen said, speaking of his team’s toughness in the face of some challenging mental and physical games throughout this season. Howsen also said the overall record does not show how good they could be. “I feel like we have played extremely hard overall, but need to play smarter,” he said.

Going back to the idea of changing the culture, Tyler Howsen has also flipped the script on how many of his players have played the sport all their lives, “We are completely changing the way they are used to playing.”

He said, “We want to teach them how to play through fundamentals, slow the game down, and take care of the basketball all while playing tough defense.”

The defense is something that the Saints have down pat, according to Howsen, but it is the offensive side of things where the team finds their struggles. Of course, that is to be expected amid the kind of sweeping change that the Saints have experienced in just the past few months.

Howsen also heaped praise on his two star seniors, point guard Robert Smith and forward Arin Spears. He said, “They have worked hard every day and have been great leaders on and off the floor.”

With an eye on the present and an eye on the future, Howsen also spoke on how excited he was about this group of underclassmen on his team as well. He brought up juniors Nick Mack and Shawn Briscoe as future leaders of the squad. He also mentioned Titus Washington, Chris Gormon, Lance Leatherwood and Dillon Allen as sophomores to watch, as well as freshmen Charles Fox-Smith, Dorian Booker and Jontre Cummings.

Joel Robinson covers sports for The Democrat and The Watchman. To share tips about area sports news, email extra@theadvocate.com