CRESTVIEW — It has been a busy summer for Greg Watson.
Watson — named the Crestview High School boys basketball coach early last month — has spent the last five or six weeks getting to know his team and installing his system.
So far, so good for Watson and the players, as they wrapped up the summer program Thursday afternoon.
"Right now, I think we are at a good spot," Watson said. "We at least are a little bit comfortable with each other now after the transition period. We've had a month to work out the kinks and learn some new stuff defensively and new stuff offensively.
"... It has been a good month. There is still a long ways to go, but it's definitely much better than it was ... whenever it was I started."
Players buying in
The players have quickly bought into Watson's program.
"Things are good," senior Ronnie Baylark said. "He's a really good coach. He's experienced.
"He's introduced some new things, and we are getting the hang of it. His plays are going to work. He's a nice guy and we really like him."
Josh Hinton, another senior, also thinks things are moving ahead nicely under Watson, despite the fact that veteran players must learn their third system in little more than a year.
"We basically get everything down out here, and it makes us better players, learning all these new plays," Hinton said. "We don't really get things confused. The biggest adjustment has been learning him, what he wants to do and how he wants things run.
"Other than that, things are pretty easy learning the plays. He's a good guy. He comes across very intelligent and he's a good teacher, basically."
Watson likes squad
One thing that pleases Watson is the number of quality players on the roster.
"I think we are going to be pretty deep this year," he said. "That's one thing I'm excited about. We've got nine or 10 guys that can play, and I don't have to worry about them being in there."
Baylark, Hinton, Jerry Aaron, Denzel Ware and Marcelle Moorer have impressed Watson.
"I heard Josh Hinton had some good stretches last year," Watson said. "He's a guy I'm going to lean on not only playing wise, but leadership wise.
"He's a good guy and a good kid. The guys respect him."
Moorer will join Baylark as an outside shooting threat while Aaron and Ware will handle the heavy lifting inside.
Making the grade
Asked how they would grade the first summer with a new coach, Baylark and Hinton gave an A.
Watson wasn't quite as generous, but he still gave an above-average grade.
"I'm never satisfied, but from where we started June 10, or whatever the date was, to right now, I'd say the grade was probably a B," Watson said. "And I would say that is a good spot ... we don't want to be higher than that right now because I think we have a lot of room to improve.
"But these guys have learned a third offense in three years and I'm throwing all kinds of stuff at them; a new offense, a new defense. They have worked hard and they have really responded mentally. Basketball is a game, I think, that you have to be able to play a little bit mentally, too, so they've tried very hard."
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.