- Ada, Oklahoma


October 28, 2013

New ECU men's coach not looking too far ahead

Ada —

New East Central University men’s basketball head coach Ja Havens isn’t ready to talk conference championships or glossy win-loss records just yet.

Instead, Havens and the Tigers are focused on the here and now.

“My background and my approach — I'm very process oriented. I'm really tunnel visioned and focused on my team,” Havens said during a Great American Conference interview. “Those are destinations and are down the road. My focus has been 100 percent on trying to get better every day. We want to really focus on the things we can control.”

The ECU men haven’t finished with a winning record since the 2007-08 season, when the Tigers finished the season at 14-13. Last year, East Central was 8-18 overall and 5-15 in Great American Conference play.

Havens and company hope to change that. Right now, though, he’s concentrating on helping his team be the best it can be when the Tigers open the 2013-14 season Nov. 8 against Lone Star Conference power Angelo State at the Southwestern Oklahoma State Classic in Weatherford.

“I think we have a good plan. I think we have good players. What ultimately is going to happen, I can't tell you. I can't see into the future. I do know they are working hard and trying to do what the coaching staff is asking them to do,” Havens said. “I really like our group. I think they're hungry. They're (ECU's returning players) not happy with the way things have gone. They've bought in. They're working hard every day, and that's what I've asked them to do.”

Havens, who became the sixth head coach for the ECU men’s basketball team in April, will rely on a six-pack of seniors and some talented underclassmen and newcomers to get the program back on track. Those seniors include Chris Fisher, Colby Carr, Chris Lee, Henry Pwono, Shaq Burrell and Miles Mitchell.

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