First-year coach sets high expectations for young team

With only three sophomores on his roster, Richland’s Jon Felmet knows he will be coaching a young team in his first year as the T-Ducks’ head coach.

Still, Felmet has high expectations for his squad.

“I expect our team to always compete and play hard all 40 minutes,” said Felmet, a former Metro Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year for the T-Ducks. “Thus far [in the team’s scrimmages], we have proven we are capable of that. I believe if we play hard and do the things we know how to do, we will be successful.”

To be successful, the T-Ducks will rely on their depth.

According to Felmet, a former assistant coach at Cedar Valley College before arriving at Richland, the T-Ducks have a number of guys capable of playing different positions.

Because of that, Felmet said, Richland will have many different lineup options.

“We have a lot of skinny guys, however, they are long and rangy,” he said. “They rebound well and cover a lot of ground defensively. But I would say our physical strength would be our weakness as of right now.”

To combat the team’s weaknesses, the T-Ducks’ philosophies will be defending and running the floor.

“Coaching in the MAC and [being] successful, I know what wins … discipline and defense,” Felmet said. “Everyone has players who can score but the team that plays the best defense and the most discipline will be successful. We play in a very tough conference where any team can win on any given night. We are also playing a tough pre-conference schedule and it’s important that, win or lose, throughout those first couple of months, we continue to work and get better.”

T-Duck basketball fans and supporters will get to see Richland in action at home at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 7 against Jacksonville.

Prior to playing Jacksonville, the T-Ducks will travel to Waco this weekend where they will play McLennan on Friday and Hill College on Saturday.

“The good thing about being a first-year head coach with a whole new team is that we will be learning together,” Felmet said. “I have coached in this league at Cedar Valley and been successful. I think this helps them understand where I’m coming from and that I know where they are coming from. They can expect me to be demanding and have a no nonsense philosophy.”

According to Felmet, the T-Ducks are suiting up 14 players and now have 20 guys on his roster, after starting with 35 on Aug. 27.

And so far during scrimmages, Felmet said, the T-Duck players have shown their versatility, being that a different guy has shown something new.

“The great thing about this team is we really do not have key players,” Felmet said. “We have a really solid group. We have a lot of guys who can score, rebound and defend. As long as we have that type of group effort throughout the season, we will be tough to contend with.”