February 3, 2003
This past week has been real good for us as a team. We won three straight games and have brought our overall record to 8-14. We have a couple guys playing really well for us right now, and that is making the W's come easy.
One of our seniors Matt Crist has been stroking, the last few games he has had double doubles and really carried us at times. We have 2 games this next week and both are winnable. We will have a lot of confidence going into Thursday with 3 straight wins, and knowing that we can beat this team because we lost to them by one before Christmas. We are still far from being good, and removing ourselves from the bottom of the conference, but when we win a few in a row, it sure makes you feel good, and makes you believe anything can happen. I played okay for us this week, and got some more minutes than the week before. I think I was pretty solid for us coming off the bench, but sometimes solid is not good enough. No matter what I am the type of player who thinks I could play better and contribute a lot more. If I am not satisfied with what I am doing I spend more and more time in the gym. My roommate always talks trash about that to me, he say things sarcastically like geeze Larry(Bird), maybe you need to go shoot some more. To be honest I take that as a compliment because I want to be known as the hardest worker, and the guy who thinks something is never good enough. Actually, I would like to give me roommate (a good ole boy) some props for how he has been playing. He plays JV just as I did, and really hasn't got a lot of varsity PT. But one thing is for sure he can play the game. He is
6'3 (can't say his weight, but his nickname is skinny...for the opposite reason...lol)he's not fat or anything, but plays PG to Center, has a nice all around game, and has recorded two Triple Doubles in his last few JV games, and then has stepped up to play about 6-8 minutes a game on Varsity in the post. His favorite player is Jason Williams from the Grizzlies, and every night I have to hear his stat line...J-Will had this and that...He knows I don't think he is a good PG, and I could care less about what he did in another loss, but I hear about it, and then before I know it next game he is doing the same things as J-Will on the court, making highlight passing, being a floor general and knocking down shots...Weh!! Well anyways I wanted to give him some credit, because he deserves it. There are not too many things to write about when your winning because you do not get so easily pissed off about things, so I am going to go and hit the books...unfortunately that is part of college too, I just don't like it as much as basketball though. Later.
January 27, 2003
LOSING sucks!!! Since high school, I have not been on a team with a winning record. This year will be the same. We are 5-14 right now, with about 8 games left. We lost Saturday by one, and last Thursday by about 18. I think losing can easily become a habit. As we have gone along this season, we have started to accept losing more and more. Instead of having an attitude of not making any excuses, and going out and getting a win no matter what, our team would rather place blame. We have 5 returning seniors on our team to provide leadership, which they sometimes do if things are going good, or if they as individuals are playing good. One guy I have really grown to respect on my team is Travis Rhodes. He is also from Az, attended Agua Fria, and has played here now for four years. He has been an awesome leader no matter what the circumstances have been. When I started earlier this semester, coach pulled 3 of our seniors out of that line up 4 usually start). Out of those guys T-Rhodes had the best attitude. He supported me starting, even if he didn't agree with the our coach's decision. He went out and earned his spot...easily because he had a positive attitude, and worked hard. If our WHOLE TEAM had an attitude like his, there is no doubt in my mind that we would be the #1 or #2 team in the conference. Instead we are one before LAST!!! Things have not been the best for me either lately. Coach has still had me on that roller coaster ride with my minutes. I don't like it, but I am dealing with it...It will make me so mad some times because of how I am treated here, but I am using that to make myself better. Saturday I played 2 minutes in the game, and got pulled because I turned over the ball. It bugged me all day Sunday, so I spent about 3 hours in the gym, working on the things I need to. This year is not over yet but it is winding down...I am a little pleased with some of the things I have done this year, but right when I start to get just a little satisfied, I am back where I started again. I think it is important for all athletes to stay focused on what they want to accomplish, but at times it is hard. Things will bring them down, make them use the word CAN'T ,break confidence, and make them think what they are trying to do is pointless...This is where the true competitor will come out in people and show what type of person they really are...The type that will just accept the negative, or change their attitude and never give up!! I believe right now at Kansas Wesleyan we are sitting one of those, but have not totally committed to going one way...I think we will show ourselves in the next 4 games.
January 13, 2003
The second semester is now up and running and a lot of things have happened since we went on break for Christmas. I flew back to Az for about 2 and a half weeks and really enjoyed my time there. It was great to spend time with my family and believe it or not to even work out with Coach T. I really wanted to come back to school focused, in shape, and on top of my game. The work I put in over break really paid off. So far this semester we have had two games. I am not playing JV, and started our second game. I really couldn't believe the opportunities I was presented with. I figured I would end up playing JV the rest of the year, and I never even thought about starting. Our first game back we played okay, but the other team just wanted it more. Our second game we lost by one at the buzzer. It was on the road at a tough place to play, and it really hurt to go and play so well there and end up losing at the last second. Our season record is 4-10. I know we are not going to be national champs and probably not even make it to the NAIA tournament this year, but I think we can still be a good team. We just have to decide as players to go and get the job...No excuses. We have a game tomorrow in Nebraska, against a team we already beat this year...we really need a win, and I think we will play very well down there. Another I wanted to mention was a kind of Thank You to Coach T. He really worked my butt off over break, and gave me some real thoughtful advice. If any of you are think about his player development program...it is the real deal!! He is great guy and cares about his athletes. One thing is for sure though, he can only help take you as far as you want to go, if you don't want to work, you will only get so far. This should be interesting next week with 33 games coming up and my new found playing time!! I will also be planning to spill my guts on a few subjects...like the different levels of basketball JUCO to D-I, what NAIA is all about, high school kids work ethics, and some players attitudes that we have even in college. Until next time...
December 15, 2002
Well this will be the last update until about January. I will get out of
school next wednesday, and fly home to Phoenix. The players here do not
have to return until January 3rd for practice and then we have a game on
January 9th. Right now we are 1-3 in conference, and 4-8 overall. This
last week we lost to a real sorry school, they beat us by 3 I think, but
they are not even in NAIA, they are in some Christian conference, we won our
next one by 19, a conference game, and lost last night by 1 another
conference game. I think we can be a really good team, but we are just
killing ourselves! I have no idea what direction we will go after break, but
I hope it is up. This semester I have not played my best, but not worst
either. I have already got like 5 times the minutes I did last year and was
scoring almost 3 a game. I am not happy with my statistics or minutes
though. Some nights I will play 15 minutes and then the next 3. No matter
what i go out there and try to play my best. As I have mentioned before,
there are guys that go in the game for me, go through certain things in
practice that I dont get to, and I end up playing better, and more than them
in the games. I am really unhappy with this, and am going to talk to my
coach about it before I leave. I just want to see what he has to say on the
situation, and find out what I have to do to get to the top. Overall I
enjoyed this semester here, I ended up getting along real well with my
roomie "Skinny"...shooo-wee, took care of my classroom stuff, and also kept
a good attitude and worked my way up in the program. I am by no means
satisfied though. I am going to bust my butt over the next 3 weeks or so at
home, to get in mad shape, and better my game with the help of Coach T. I
only got about 5 minutes last night, and did not play great...It really got
to me, and that may have been just what I needed so when I go home, and I am
workign to come back prepared. So until January...I'm out...Merry Christmas
and Happy Holidays!!
December 1, 2002
I have been a little busy because of basketball and school, and a lot has
been happening here. One of the biggest things I learned from my freshman
year of college basketball is that it is vital to keep your head up and no
matter keep working hard. That is really hard to do sometimes with
situations athletes are faced with while playing sports. Last time I
mentioned a guy had quit on our team and now 2 more are going to be gone.
One was a junior who played 2 years of JV here and the other is my roommate
from last year but he is going to red shirt. I don't blame him for red
shirting because I think he will never be happy here...there was just kind
of that negative chemistry between him and our Coach. Even though we are
kind of going through a lot as a team right now...we are still playing
pretty. We are 3-3 and two of those losses came from the same team. We
play Newman University tomorrow night and lat time they waxed us by 30+!!
They are 7-0 right now and we would really like to serve them their first
loss. As for me, I am using what I learned...I am slowly moving getting
more playing time, and gaining more confidence. I am still playing JV but I
do not know for how long. I do not mind playing JV but sometimes my legs
do...I will go to varsity and JV practice and then usually play in both
games. Most of the time I spend about 5 hours a day with basketball, and
when I get tired of it or start to think negatively I tell myself that I am
getting better because I am in the gym longer than anyone else, and learning
some new team concepts. I bet Larry bird wouldn't have cared about going to
2 practices...he would have been glad to get better...so in that way I am
too. Right now its late and I have an 8 o'clock tomorrow...We have 3 games
this week and conference starts Thursday...wish us luck and maybe a few
shout outs on the message boards.
November 18, 2002
We are really into season now and have played 3 games. We are 1-2 and have
already been going through some stuff as a team. We lost one of our games
by 30+, and they were one of the top ten teams in the nation. After that
game our leading scorer quit the team. He was upset that he was not getting
enough minutes, and how he was playing. I think we can be a better TEAM
with out him. The keyword is team because now we will not count on him as
much, and work together. We ended up doing that this Friday against
Southern Nazarene a really tough team from Oklahoma. We were supposed to go
in their and get waxed. The have 6'10, 6'9, 6'6, in their lineup and then
6'9, 6'9 coming off the bench. Our biggest guy is about 6'5. They also
have a point guard who played for the Mexico junior nation team who as
averaging 35 points a game. We went down there and beat them by 7. It was
awesome their gym was huge, and had a lot of fans. Now we have a game on
Tuesday and our team had confidence and has come together. It was a great
TEAM win!! I only played 2 minutes in this game, which I was not satisfied
with. My playing time has been kind of cut, and my coach is riding me a
lot. I am now also having to play JV and go to 2 practices. My coach is a
lot harder on me than any of the other guys...I am told it is because of my
potential. I am also the youngest on varsity...the only sophomore. I
realize that I should be playing a lot more, and that I am better than some
of the players above me, but I am not letting it get me down. I always want
immediate results and that can bring a lot of frustration. I realize that
my time is coming...soon...I am ready to step up and take it...but until
then I will keep working my butt and trusting Jesus (that's how I got here
anyway). I will get back to ya with what happens...hopefully it won't take
a while!! ;)
November 1, 2002
This was a boring basketball week. It was just a lot of practice and
learning plays. I worked hard, kept my head up, and coach pulled me back up
with the top 10...thank God. I was glad, but at the same time worried
because there is no telling when he would send me right back down. We are
scrimmaging Brown Mackie College tonight, a JUCO in our town, and usually a
lot of fans show up...its like the city championship. We also let them use
our gym, and they play all our home games here so we see them all the time.
We both respect each other but at the same time there is that bit of
rivalry. This game will be taken way more serious than just any other
scrimmage. I think we haven't lost to them in like 15 years or something.
I think tonight is important for me personally because I still need to prove
to my coach where I belong. I wnat to succeed here where I am. I don't
feel like I am very successful if I am just riding the pine, and playing JV.
Like most competitive people I want to be the best, but at the same I must
learn my role. I feel that my role could be a major contributor off the
bench. So tonight I just wanna go out there and do the best I can, help our
team win, and get what I have worked for. Right now I gotta go...I will get
back to ya with how the game went.
FRUSTRATION is one of the hardest things to deal with in basketball. We started practice and had a scrimmage this past week, and right now I am feeling more frustration than I have all year. Practice was not as hard as I thought...but actually quite easy. I was doing fine until the second
practice (we had 3 before the scrimmage), and Coach really started to ride me like last year. Now he is once again on my case. I have been told and he said that if he isn't yelling at you then he probably doesn't care about you. Deep down I think he really expects a lot out of me, and that is why
he is riding me all the time. I am trying to learn to deal with that. Right now he keeps throwing me up and down from second to third string...depending on any mistake I make. Our scrimmage went O.K., it was a against a pretty week JUCO but the whole team pretty much played bad. No
one really knocked down shots, or had a good game. We only had 3 days of practice but that is no excuse. The scrimmage was kind of bad for myself. Just because I couldn't hold onto the ball...I dropped it like 3 times, and
coach couldn't stand it. I feel that if I wasn't Butterfingers Mcgee I would have opened his eyes a bit. Our next scrimmage is not until the 28th so i have some to work myself back up. My pride will get to me, and certain
goals pop into mind, then I feel a lot of frustration, and almost have a bad attitude. I am not going to be negative and let a bunch of crap bring me and my game down, I have worked too dang hard. This next week I plan to keep a few things in mind...work hard, stay positive, and trust jesus!!
Things should turn out okay...
October 15, 2002
Just a couple of things are going on right now, We start practice the 15th and have a scrimmage this Friday, other than that here's whats up...
1. Monday we are having a team drug test...Yes NAIA is drug testing...I think everyone will pass, at least I hope so!
2. Finished our preseason junk with a 7 mile run out in the Kansas Country...saw some prarie dogs, deer, and wild turkey, it was pretty cool.
Finished it off with a steak dinner.
3. I have a feeling our first practice will be tough, we want to press and play mad D, I have a feeling some of us might die.
4. Coach T has no jumper!! If i made him pay his bets to me I would own Gatorade, and have a lifetime supply of smoothie's at LA Fitness.
5. My roommate has actually turned out to be kinda cool, he is pretty funny, and we are getting along fine. He still doesn't believe he is a hick
6. I am still ready for a trip home but not until Dec. 19, Can't wait to see my family and friends, and get out of the cold...yes its already cold
7. Finally, Coach T is a good guy, give him a pat on the back if you see him...sometimes it is hard for people to realize they dont have game anymore, or can't shoot. He is a heckuva coach and knows the game, but dang...maybe there is a over 65 one armed adult league he could tear
(Phil has turned into a comedian! Things must be going well up in Kansas. Hey Phil, tell Dorthy & Toto we all said hi!)
October 8, 2002
This next week will be our last week of preseason workouts, and I am glad.
These last two weeks have been kind of tough and challenging for me.
Family, school, and basketball all kind of piled up. When I am worried
about these things and stressed out, I will sometimes tend to not have a
good attitude or play well. Last week we were allowed to start workouts
with coaches. Only four guys are able to work with the coach for 30
minutes. It is some stupid conference rule. Other than that we still
lifted, played and ran. I also had 3 tests and 2 projects due for class,
and then on top of it all I miss my family. I don't really get homesick
because I am so busy, but when I do start to think about my family and
friends back home it hurts a bit being away so much. I have a 5 year old
brother in kindergarten who I miss the most. This week the thoughts of
whether or not it is worth it to play here came up quite a few times. I did
a poor job of letting all this stress build up and affecting me. When it
came time to play and practice I was not focused and very irritable. I
actually didn't play that bad, but I didn't play my best either. All
players were divided into 4 teams. It went the freshman, the transfers,
the top varsity players, and then the returners who weren't with the top
varsity guys. I was not with the top varsity players which bugged me, and
then also discouraged me about the upcoming season. I know that I am one of
the 8, but it is all about what my coach decides. One of my biggest fears
this year is again playing both JV and Varsity. It sucked to play both last
year. I am always worried about where I stand, mostly cause I want to be on
top. It is hard to not let these things affect me and still go out and work
hard. My roommate from last year (B-lew) who is one of my closest friends
here, came up and talked to me a bit, and could tell I was pissed. He
reminded me about what I said this summer about having a bad attitude and
how I wasn't going to have. Right when he said that, I said forget all this
crap, and went out and played with no worries. I also got my sorry butt
back in the gym on my extra time to try to outwork some of those guys ahead
of me and the one's that aren't . I did a lot of extra running and
shooting. From all the issues and thoughts I had these last weeks, a little
bit of a fire got lit in me to practice harder and prove a lot of people
wrong. So ending preseason and going into practice I now have the right
focus, and attitude to hopefully help our team, and accomplish my goals. It
does get tough here, and not all of these will just go away.I will still
miss my family.and I will still be scared of playing JV.and now in order to
succeed here I just have to stay positive and work my butt off!!!
September 22, 2002
On The Inside #4
This week seemed to go by pretty slow, but I think it was a real good week
for our team. We all worked hard, and played tough all week. Last week in
the weight room a little bit of an issue came up. Some guys were lifting
and some guys weren't. Our coach got pretty upset about it, and then he
decided to change our lifting exercises and routine. This really took a lot
out of all of our bodies. We have to lift in groups, and rotate to
different stations , making sure we do all the lifts and the extra one's
that were added. My body was drained and I really felt it when we were
playing Wednesday and Thursday. Since we are NAIA, we don't have all the
great facilities like D-I schools, so to get rid of our soreness, a couple
of teammates and myself snuck into the Holiday Inn and used their Jacuzzi.
It was nice, but hey we gotta do what we gotta do!!
I think all the guys that are here now are settled in and will be staying
the whole year. Everyone seems to get along real well, and we are all
playing together pretty well. One problem we may run into this year is guys
being selfish. Of course we will be a lot better if we play as team and use
our strengths. Selfishness could be the #1 thing that kills us besides
Right now I am ready for a break, my body got beat up and bruised a little,
and then I lost my legs. Jumpers were short and I just didn't have that
spark in my game. So I lost some confidence while playing, but I realized I
just a couple of rough days. I went and got about 200 jumpers in today
(makes of course), and will do the same tomorrow, that should help my game
on Monday. Other than that I am going to enjoy the weekend and tonight go
to our 1st home football game. Next week should be all downhill!
September 15, 2002
On The Inside #3
I am now going into my fourth week of actual school, with classes and
pre-season workouts. I realized this weekend that with my schedule of
classes I am really going to have to keep up with all my work and not be
able to procrastinate. I am taking 15 credit hours, and have a couple
pretty tough classes. I had to get up at 8am this Saturday to study the
bones of the skull for Anatomy...that will be my toughest class by far.
At the beginning of our conditioning and playing I think we had about 30
guys...Now we are down to 21 I think. Those 3 juco recruits left and few
others just disappeared into the night. Josh Gualt from Glendale high
school showed up here to try out, but ended up leaving the other for some
unknown reasons. A lot of guys find it hard to move away from home...but I
wish Josh luck in what he pursues. Our varsity team will be short at the 5
spot. Our biggest guy is 6'5 and he will have to battle 6'8-6'9 night in
and night out...Our two big men recruits left...So after 6'5...we go 2 6'4
guys and then myself...I think we are planning on that ole slogan "Run and
Speaking of "Run and Gun" I love to gun, and this past week my coach called
me out on it in front of everyone he called me a ball hog...lol...and said
no one likes me and wants to play with me...But then he complimented me
right afterward by saying but you did make a helluva lot of shots and I like
that...One thing I realized last year is if he doesn't yell at you then he
really doesn't care for you. He can really be a demanding coach and will
always tell you what he thinks in whatever way he wants. I have learned to
deal with his criticism, and not get down on myself. He just wants me to
get better. Although, I was called a ballhog, I think I had a good 2 weeks,
putting in some hard work and playing well...The thing that I need to focus
on most this year is just keeping a positive attitude, and working hard. I
am going to take off but leave you with the quote I live my hoop life
by..."If you put in the work the results will come."-Michael Jordan...Us
Yotes are putting in the work so hopefully our results will come with a KCAC
August 30, 2002,
"On The Inside" #2
I arrived at school on Friday after about 19 hours of driving. The drive went just fine, especially with no tickets. It was awesome checking into the dorms and seeing all the guys from last year(our dorms are not co-ed here). It really felt good to see all my teammates and the guys I have
really grown to know. Some of these guys are almost like brothers to me...b-lew, jimthree, ry-show,...and being able to hang out with them this first week made me really glad to be back here. Unfortunatly when I checked into my room I found out that I had a roommmate, which was totally
unexpected. I find it really hard to live with another person. Soemtimes there are way too many differences...like watching "cheers" at 1 in the morning. I enjoy sleep and he enjoys TV...a lot!! We also started organized games this week where our coach divides us into teams, and we play
10 minute games. It is like an organized open gym. Right now we have to play 4 on 4 full court on the side baskets because we had 30 dang recruits show up. 2 have already left and I think 3 to 4 may be leaving as well. A lot more numbers will drop when we start our conditiong on Tuesday. The games went okay for me, and my team. I know I can be playing a lot better, but I am not too worried because it is only the first week. Oh yeah another thing about my GREAT roomie...I was guarding him during a game and we worked
out on his team...he got upset and threw a few elbows at me...not cool dude!...I wanted to tell him how sorry he is, but I held back, and then he apologized. He is from some JUCO in Kansas where he warmed the bench, but he
came from a town about as big as arizona mills where he scored a lot, so he is pretty cocky...needless to say in 2 weeks I will have a room by myself. And as far as how our team looks for next year...its way too early to tell...and no telling who is going to stick around. I heard that 3 more
juco guys might be leaving...they expect a full ride, and a Bently on 20's to cruise around in...jk. we only geta certain amount of financial aid at the NAIA level. I'd rather just have them all leave and let our team get to work. Well I am going to go check out a movie tonight(everyone went home
for labor day so no party's our club time). See ya!
August 20, 2002
August 15, 2002
As most prep basketball players, we all dream of playing at the "College Level" at some point in our career. We hear of teammates or opponents going to a "Small School" and we think it is a glorified High School program. Well, coming September 1st, you'll get the real scoop as former Buckeye star and current Kansas Wesleyan University soph Phil Beckner tells us all what it's really like, the up's & the down's as we follow his sophmore season week by week! The comp is tough, and the false illusion that the talent is weak can't be further from the truth. So stay tuned, as Phil let's us into his world of college life, and college ball in 2002-2003.
Beckner, a 6'3" 2G, an All-Conference(Skyline Region) 1st team in 2001, is living his dream. Beckner wanted it, and he went after it.
An example for all of you who want to play at the "Next Level", make sure you follow his week by week account of what he has to do to survive, and live his emotions as Phil brings you "on the inside"!
We welcome Phil to PrepAZ.com, and look forward to following his successful So. year at KW!