Basketball seasons reach finale


IV Leader Photo

Former Bureau Valley player Tyler Gustafson scores for the Eagles against the Kishwaukee Cougars in an Arrowhead Conference matchup.

Noah Simon, IV Leader Sports Editor

Chris Herman has been the head Men’s Basketball coach for IVCC for eight years now. As his father was also a former basketball head coach, coaching came quite naturally to him after previously playing in college.

Herman’s team finished the season with an overall record of 12-17, and although the record might not have ended above .500, Herman was pleased with the way his players performed this year.

“Considering we only had two returning players back, we played quite well towards the end of season and things really started to click for us,” he said.

A tough schedule, which included two top five teams in their division, made it difficult for this new group to catch their stride early.

“I was happy; there was no way I could be disappointed,” Herman explained. “Twelve wins with a relatively new team was quite good for us.”

Additionally, he also was impressed by his team’s performance in many games against tough opponents. “We played a few Division 1’s and two of our wins came against Division 1 teams, showing that we can play right with them.”

The season saw most players coming in to play after not being able to last season amidst the COVID pandemic.

Herman understands, “Sitting out a year as a basketball player is tough. I sat out a couple years when I played in college and you lose a lot, just from a conditioning standpoint.”

This season leaves Herman optimistic about next season, and he thinks that spending more time together as a team and getting more playing time together will help the team grow and become better collectively.

For the upcoming season, Herman plans to add more depth to the lineup.

“Our guards were combo guards that can also play the shooting guard and I loved the way they played, but the teams need a true point guard that can set the pace for the team,” Herman said. “Additionally we need a little bit more size below the rim and maybe a go-to scorer, who can facilitate and create his own shot.”

He later added that he has signed a true point guard out of Chicago who played one year in Oakland, California last season.

Additionally, a good takeaway from the season was that the team does not expect to lose many second- year players for the upcoming season.

Herman added that he valued the players’ effort and work ethic on the court.

“I’m pretty loyal to my guys,” he commented. “If they work hard and they’re here, then that helps.”

Tyler Gustafson, a guard for IVCC, who had to sit out part of the first half of the season, due to transferring to IVCC from Illinois State University added, “Everyone got better throughout the season and the record doesn’t show it, but the season was a success.”

He also admitted that sitting out a large part of the season was difficult for him; however, it made him aware of problems and gave him a different perspective, which helped him make an immediate impact once he was able to play.

Herman praised Gustafson’s play this past season: “I like his IQ and he knows what he is supposed to do.”

Gustafson and the other returning sophomores are one reason Herman is optimistic about the future and next year’s season. He plans to build on the team’s experience and make a strong return in the fall.