Run-and-gun, up-tempo, in your face all game. This is the new identity for the Pacific University men’s basketball team.
On April 11, Athletic Director Ken Schumann announced the hiring of Justin Lunt, the new head coach of the men’s basketball program.
Lunt is a familiar face in the Northwest Conference (NWC). He spent his last 14 seasons with Puget Sound University, 12 of them as head coach. During that span, he has led the Loggers to a 180-129 overall record, seven appearances in the NWC Tournament, NWC Title in the 2008-09 season, in which they went 16-0 in conference and a NWC Coach of the Year in that same season.
The Boxers’ coach has developed a new style of play that he started last season. He calls it “controlled chaos.” This style of play will have his players on the constant attack and taking a lot of three-pointers. On the defensive side, it will be a nightmare for teams in which there will be constant full-court pressure, forcing turnovers and making teams pay for it. To keep his players ready to go all game, there will be subs nearly every minute.
“The style of play Lunt brings, for opposing players and coaches, I can tell you, it is very frustrating,” Schumann commented. “When you are having a real hard time even bringing the ball up the floor, or being forced to play a faster pace and take bad shots, that was always the thing I was concerned about when I was coaching and played against that particular style of play. I am looking forward to someone else being frustrated.”
This style of play will be different for returners and incoming recruits, as it is not an identity many basketball programs have. Lunt developed this system when getting to know Mike DeGeorge, Rhodes College head coach last summer. He saw many similarities of what he wanted to do and gave it a shot.
“It’s a brand of basketball that’s different than what’s been here,” Lunt explained. “But, it’s a brand of basketball that develops a mindset of relentlessness, selflessness and effort. It is going to take some time to get into it, but we also started from scratch last year at Puget Sound and our guys really figured it out quickly.”
Lunt expects it to be a style of play that not only Pacific players will enjoy, but the community as well.