By William / www.mcpherson-county-ks.com

MCPHERSON – Despite finishing with a .500 record in 2020-21, the McPherson boys basketball team still managed to put it together enough to make yet another run in the state tournament where they finished third.

The Bullpups won their last of six titles under Head Coach Kurt Kinnamon back in 2015 and are looking to have the momentum by the end of the season to get the coach number seven.

Losing three starters from last season in Jayton Alexander, who is now playing for Tabor College, Adam Elliott and Eli Pyle will be roles and production to fill.

While the team will not have any big guys of the six-foot-six range under the basket, McPherson does return five players who combined to average 14.6 rebounds per game in 2020-21, including returning starters Seth Madron and Jayden Dukes.

Madron begins his fourth season on varsity and last season grabbed 4.8 rebounds, tossed out 2.7 assists and made 1.8 steals per game to go with the 15.7 points per game he put in the scorebook. Coach Kinnamon is counting on Madron athleticism and leadership to lead the team.

Dukes put up 5.6 points per game while grabbing 3.5 rebounds and dishing out a pair of assists per game as well in a starting role as a junior.

Two of the top three returning reserves, Sam Becker, and Mason Miller, both stand six-foot-three while Hunter Alvord is six-foot even. All three juniors will be expected to step up and produce in the upcoming hardwood battles.

“We have to develop a consistent attack from behind the three-point line as well as our perimeter shooting overall,” noted Coach Kinnamon when talking about any weaknesses the Bullpups need to work on. “We will also need to work harder in the paint as we lack any big guys.”

While reflecting on the upcoming season strengths, Kinnamon added, “We have excellent athleticism and should be able to play a lot of up-tempo ball. We have five players with substantial varsity experience led by senior Seth Madron.”

Kinnamon concluded his preseason reflections by saying, “I see six teams that have a legit shot at contending for the state title and we play two of them on the road in the first month of the season with our road trips to Basehor Linwood and Buhler.”

 Here is a complete summary of the upcoming 2021-22 season for the McPherson Bullpups:

MCPHERSON BULLPUPS OPENING MONTH OF THE 2021-22 SEASON =

Friday, December 3 = At Dodge City

Tuesday, December 7 = At Newton

Friday, December 10 = Host Andover

Tuesday, December 14 = Host El Dorado

Saturday, December 18 = At Basehor Linwood in Kansas City

Tuesday, December 21 = At Buhler

WHAT YOU GET WITH MCPHERSON BULLPUP HEAD COACH KURT KINNAMON =

  • Kurt Kinnamon is beginning his 27th season as head coach.
  • Overall record at McPherson is 511-104.
  • Career head coaching record is 536-120.
  • In 2020-21 Coach Kinnamon had led the Bullpups to an overall mark of 13-13, finishing 802 in Ark Valley Chisholm Trail Division III play.
  • As head coach, Kinnamon has won six state titles in 1996, 1999, 2003, 2011, 2014, and 2015.
  • Five times finished as state runner-up (2002, 2007, 2016, 2017, 2018).
  • Twice finished third at the state tournament (2006, 2021).
  • 18 total state tournament appearances.
  • Coach Kinnamon will have Dustan Kanitz (16th season), Brandt Busse (7th season), and Paul Reichnberger (1st season), assisting him.

BULLPUP PLAYERS WHO GRADUATED/TRANSFERRED =

  • Jayton Alexander = now playing at Tabor College.
  • Eli Pyle
  • Adam Elliott

KEY RETURNING BULLPUP PLAYERS FOR 2021-22 =

  • Seth Madron = 6’1” senior starter; 15.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.8 steals per game in 2020-21.
  • Jayden Dukes = 6’0” senior starter; 5.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals per game in 2020-21.
  • Mason Miller = 6’3” junior reserve; 4.5 points, 3.4 rebounds per game in 2020-21.
  • Hunter Alvord = 6’0” junior reserve; 2.5 points, 1.9 rebounds per game in 2020-21.
  • Sam Becker = 6’3” junior reserve; 1.3 points, 1.0 rebounds per game in 2020-21.

INCOMING PLAYERS TO PAY ATTENTION TO =

No players listed.

WHAT COACH KURT KINNAMON HAS TO SAY =

What the 2021-22 team will need to work on = “We have to develop a consistent attack from behind the three-point line as well as our perimeter shooting overall. We will also need to work harder in the paint as we lack anyone in the six-foot-six-inch side to put under the basket.”

What the 2021-22 team should be able to highlight = “This is a team that will have excellent athleticism and should be able to play at an up-tempo level throughout the game. We have five players returning with substantial varsity and state tournament playing experience. They will be led by Seth Madron, a fourth-year senior.”

Coach Kinnamon’s picks the finish of the league = “I see ourselves as having an outstanding chance to win the league with Buhler, Winfield, Augusta, Circle and El Dorado finishing behind us in that order.”

Coach Kinnamon’s picks for state Class 4A contenders = “I am looking at six teams in particular that should have a legit shot at the state tournament and possible title, with those being Bishop Miege, Basehor Linwood, Independence, Paola, Ottawa, and Buhler.”

{McPherson Bullpup Previews are SPONSORED by CrossDove Creations}

2021-22 ‘TEAM NAME’ SCHEDULE