ET Basketball: TJC signee Bush, Lobos ready for season opener
Nov. 13, 2017 at 11:32 p.m.
Longview was working Monday evening on its final preseason practice, going through a series of plays with rotation amongst the group.
There were two constants throughout the session: the word 'positive' and three-year starter Jason Bush, who didn't leave the court as Lobos were preparing to begin the season under new head coach Don Newton.
"It's been nothing but positivity and hard work," Bush said of the preseason. "The attitude is different and we're all working together and staying positive.
"Coach Newton wants us to come together as a family and that's been big for us."
Bush will usher in a new era for the Lobos tonight in the season opener against Hallsville, the first game under Newton, who was hired in July after a seven-year, turnaround stint at Corsicana.
It's a new era and a new attitude for Lobo basketball, Bush said, but that hasn't been the only change.
Bush, a District 11-6A first-team selection a year ago, made the move from the post position to guard and the dividends were almost immediate.
After a strong showing during a fall league at Tyler Junior College, Bush had a big impact on the Apaches, who began to recruit him quickly.
"We made a decision to play him at guard, he had a few really good weeks and they started recruiting him immediately," Newton, who turned Corsicana from an 0-27 team to a district champion, said of Bush. "Within a couple of weeks, they offered him and he signed with them a couple of days later."
Bush said, most of all, the coaching staff and culture of churning out players at the next level stood out the most about TJC.
"It's grown-man basketball in that league and the coaches over there are unbelievable," he said. "They made a quick impact on me."
With his collegiate decision already signed and delivered, Bush said the focus now is at home on the Lobos, who have missed the postseason the past two years.
"The mentality is to get ready for district," Bush said. "That's the focus, to keep progressing and get better over the next few weeks. We're practicing and playing hard."
Bush's intangibles on the court speak for themselves. Newton's quick impression of his standout guard have gone beyond his play on the court.
"I've been really pleased with how hard he's worked and, I know it's never easy being a senior with a new coach coming in, how he's been willing to change some things and give his best effort," Newton said. "Most of all, I've been really pleased with how he's worked to be a leader by example."
Some game-one goals for the Lobos, Newton said, it to keep it simple, execute, adapt to what they see on the court and, again, to stay up.
"We're trying to create a culture of having kids that are going to play extremely hard and guys that are playing with an influx of positive energy," Newton said. "For the first game, it's about playing simple and playing harder than our opponent. We're looking forward to lacing them up and seeing what we can do."
Added Bush: "We've got to stay up and we want people to look down at the game and say 'Ok, I can tell a big difference."
Tip off against Hallsville is set for 7 p.m. tonight at Lobo Coliseum.
(Follow Hayden Henry on Twitter: @hayden_h)