April 12th, 2024

Otieno learned a lot in first season


By Lethbridge Herald on February 16, 2024.

UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE PHOTO Pronghorn men’s basketball coach Kenny Otieno is seen high fiving his players during a game this season.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

First year University of Lethbridge Pronghorns men’s basketball head coach Kenny Otieno  just finished what  was an up and down first season with the team.

Otieno’s first season saw the team begin the season 0-10 before having a much better second half with a 4-6 record.

Otieno summed up the season as one of growing pains.

“Some of the things are out of my control in terms of circumstances that happened over the offseason and the make-up of the roster being a little bit different than I hoped,” said Otieno. “But regardless of all the circumstances, I think (we) definitely showed some growth this year.”

While the Horns had a tough first half of the season, Otieno thought the team could have folded and not finishing the season out strong  or not motivated to get better after the bad start.

 “I think the guys understood the position that  we were in, regardless, of the fact that we started 0-10 or in a lot of close games, and we showed that we can compete at a high level against some really good teams,” said Otieno.

“So that all kind of … built into the second half of the season that we had, winning a couple more games and putting ourselves in a position to almost make playoffs.”

One of Otieno’s goals this year was to come in and make a culture change.

“I think that has  definitely shifted this year,” he said.

“Guys are committed to getting better every day and guys want to come to work and practice and try and make us the best team that we can be.”

The biggest takeaway for Otieno this season was preparation.

“I definitely think I can be better with that even though I tried to make that a priority for me coming into that role because I knew it was important,” said Otieno.

“But preparation for games, preparation for the admin side of things in terms of what my job requires with booking flights and making sure that everybody’s class schedules align and preseason plans. I think if you have that determined and planned early, in terms of preparation, that definitely makes the rest of the season kind of flow a lot better in terms of  what to expect and just being able to make adjustments as you go.”

Otieno already wants to figure out how the team can be better now the offseason is here.

“In terms of a break right away, I probably won’t think about that probably for another couple of weeks,”  said Otieno.

“But definitely trying to hit the ground running in terms of OK this is what we accomplished this season, or this is the things that went wrong, did we progress and make sure that we’re better going into the offseason and going into preseason next season.”

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