As football season wraps up, Ichabod fans are preparing for the beginning of another season as the Washburn Ichabods’ basketball team begins play.
“We are looking forward to a positive and successful year, however its strange not have any seniors on the team,” said head coach Bob Chipman. “The outlook on this is cool because we can be great this year and that means look out next year. “
Chipman became part of the Washburn staff in 1976 and became head coach in 1979. Overall, he has been a successful coach: he is set to begin his 33rd season as he approaches 700 wins. With 696 victories heading into Friday’s season-opening matchup with the University of Arkansas at Monticello at the South Central Shootout, he is ranked second in career coaching victories in active Division II coaches.
Last year, the Ichabods went 18-10 (15-6 in conference) and are determined to accomplish greater things this season. With returning players such as junior guards William McNeill and Mitch Allen, sophomore guard Jeff Reid and junior forward Bobby Chipman, the possibilities of a great season may be within reach.
“A lot of what we do in practice is what we expect to carry into the game, as far as team building activities goes,” said McNeil. “Everyone practices very hard, this good because we are building moral and character within are team.”
The Ichabods return to Lee Arena for their first home game of the season Nov. 22 as they take on Peru State College. The players expressed how grateful they are for their fans dedication to the team.
“I definitely feel the University’s support for the team,” said Bobby Chipman. “One thing that I enjoy about playing basketball for Washburn is the atmosphere both on and off campus. I love playing at home and enjoy playing with the team.”
Despite the return of many experienced players, the Ichabods lost a few key players from last season. Senior forwards De’Andre Washington and Logan Stutz graduated, with Stutz heading to Germany to play professional basketball. The Bods also lost a trio of senior guards to graduation in Virgil Phillistin, Nate Daniels and Jadarren Mumphfield. In addition, junior forward Bryce Simons is redshirting this season and will not be available.
“One thing I enjoy about playing basketball for Washburn University is the fans and their loyalty towards the team,” said McNeill. “They make all of our games and I never have received a negative impulse from our fans.”
Student athletes create expectations for themselves, as well as the team, in the realm of sports.
“Being one of the hardest workers is something I enjoy about myself,” said Bobby Chipman. “I will hustle throughout the games and contribute by working hard.”
Aside from the individual goals, the Ichabods’ main goal is a unified desire: winning the MIAA.
“This team wants nothing short of a conference championship and to be one of the best teams in the region,” said McNeill. “I will put forth my defensive efforts, going out and playing my hardest every night. I’m not going to take any days off. If some of the guys see me playing my hardest, hopefully they will follow behind me.”
Coach Chipman said the years have not slowed him down any as a teacher of the game.
“I have loved coaching throughout my career,” said Coach Chipman. “Right now, I feel I have more energy and I love it more and believe I’m better at what I do now than I ever been.”