The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • College Hoops: Doing It The Right Way

  • Smithpeters incorporates teachings from former coaches
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  • Now that the personal side of Kyle Smithpeters' life has been attended too, he can now get down to the business side: coaching.
    With moving from Springfield, Mo., out of the way and established in a new home in Harrisburg, the former Missouri State assistant, now top guy at John A. Logan College, will embark on his first official trip as a head coach this weekend when the Volunteers travel to Vincennes University to play in the Trailblazers' Jamboree on Sunday at the VU P.E. Complex.
    Aside from moving back to an area that he's more than familiar with, Smithpeters said his smooth transition can be credited to his players and staff at JALC.
    "The guys have made it really, really nice, as far as I am concerned, for me to be able to transition from Missouri State to here. We have guys that are showing up everyday, going to class and doing what we ask them to do that takes care of a lot of problems you might normally have on a daily basis."
    The Carterville campus junior college recently held a Media Day for both the men's and women's basketball programs. During that time, Smithpeters said that while in ages he has a "young group," they don't conduct themselves like a young group.
    "Right now our focus is on getting better in the area's that we need to and I think that's very important, especially with a young group. With that being said, I don't think they have conducted themselves like a young group."
    Smithpeters is taking over for longtime coach Mark Imhoff, whom Smithpeters had the pleasure of sitting aside before he jumped the Volunteers ship for Paul Lusk and Missouri State.
    Still, his appreciation for Imhoff hasn't extinguished. As a matter of fact, it's highly possible much of what Imhoff taught Smithpeters will still be used by the former Harrisburg High School standout.
    "I'm very grateful for getting the opportunity I had to sit alongside coach (Mark) Imhoff for as long as I did," Smithpeters said. "He's a great friend and I learned a lot of things from him. He was very intense and very focused when it came to the game of basketball and making guys do things the right way. "
    As far as coaches are concerned, Smithpeters couldn't have done a better job of surrounding himself with some of the country's best as he has sat alongside Todd Franklin formerally Southeast Illinois College, Imhoff, Lusk and even his own father, Bulldog head coach Randy Smithpeters.
    When it comes to Lusk, Smithpeters learned the finer art of preparation and while preparation has always been a part of college coaching, Smithpeters admitted that it went up another rung when you were at a school like Missouri State.
    Page 2 of 2 - However, when it comes to his father, that's where you'll find the book on what Smithpeters knows about coaching.
    "Work hard, that's the one thing I have always taken away from watching my dad." Smithpeters said. "Always put in 100 percent and do things the right way. There is always a right way and a wrong way to do things. We all make choices everyday.
    Doing what you really feel is right is going to pay off at the end of the day. Here, I try to hold our guys accountable as well. When you make those right decisions, it might not always pay off right then in there, but it's going to pay off later down the line."
    Michael Dann can be reached at hbgsports@dailyregister.com. Follow him on Twitter @spydieshooter.
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