Only two practices into the season, Hiawatha boys basketball coach Danny Klein had a pretty good vision of how he was going utilize Ed Canchola.
Klein called him “an energy guy,” someone he saw setting up in the post and on the wing.
“I think he’s pretty athletic ... could play multiple positions,” Klein said. “He’s very athletic and quick, and it seems like he could probably play some pretty good hard-nosed defense.”
Canchola, a senior and starting his second year on the varsity team, is exactly the type of player Klein was looking for in his first year as coach at Hiawatha.
Hiawatha has had a rough stretch over the past six seasons and Klein is trying to re-energize the program. His offensive and defensive schemes are designed to take advantage of quickness and versatility, something this Hawks team has throughout its lineup.
Throughout the preseason, Klein was in the midst of installing a motion offense, involving a lot of movement, cuts and screens.
“If we can run it right, we can get some good looks off of it,” Canchola said. “We don’t really have size, so we like to move around, everyone has the ball and can react off what the defense is doing.”
On the defensive end, Klein emphasizes help defense, something he’d like to emulate from Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau’s system. Klein said he would try to press, but isn’t sure if the Hawks’ small roster will allow them to do so.
Like many of Hiawatha’s players, Canchola is a two-sport star. Canchola was part of the Hiawatha soccer team that lost in a regional final to Genoa-Kingston. And Klein’s hoping the same work ethic that resulted in good football and soccer records carries over into the winter season.
“I just want the kids in here just busting their butt, giving it their all,” Klein said. “That’s the main thing I’m really trying to establish here.”