New Williams hoops staff adjusts to changes
Williams College's new basketball coach Kevin App is settling into the job.
"A little bit," said App, when asked if the weeks since his appointment have been a whirlwind. "The fact that I've worked here before made it a little easier."
All App had to do was contact his returning and incoming players, say goodbye to the national Division III rookie of the year and run a camp. He is still in the process of finalizing his staff.
"Contacting the current players and the guys I coached at West Point was the first thing I did," App said. "Then that Monday, I met in person with Ryan [Kilcullen], Mike [Green man] and Duncan [Robinson], the [Williams] guys on the East Coast. From there, I hit the road recruiting again and got ready for an elite camp I had [at Williams]."
Early on, App had to deal with the loss of Robinson, who decided to transfer to Division I Michigan of the Big Ten.
"I am proud to announce that I'll be transferring to the Uni versity of Michigan. Proud to be a Wolverine!" wrote Robin son on his Twitter account. He could not be reached for comment.
Robinson was the D3hoops. com national rookie of the year, a D3hoops.com All-American and the NESCAC rookie of the year. His choices came down transferring to Michigan, Div ision I Davidson or staying with the Ephs.
"I'd like to thank Williams College & the whole community for an incredible year," Robinson wrote on his Twitter account. "I will forever cherish the relationships I've made there."
Robinson isn't the only NESCAC player making the move to Division I. Hamilton's Matt Hart, a first-team All-NESCAC guard, is enrolling at George Washington of the Atlantic 10.
App said he wishes Rob inson, who will have to sit out next season and then have three years of eligibility remaining, the best of luck. But the first-year head coach said now that Robinson's departure is a reality, he can concentrate on his team.
"Now, we can kind of focus on the guys that will be there and start planning accordingly knowing exactly who's going to be there," App said. "It helps in that sense. Williams has a rich tradition and seven Final Fours, and Duncan Robinson was a great player. It just allows us to focus on the guys who are in the program now."
While it may be tough to lose the team's top returning scorer, App said that when one door closes, another might open for others on the roster.
"It just gives other guys opportunities to step into bigger roles, which I think some of them are excited about." App said. "Even the incoming guys could be stepping into an impactful role."
Apps said he spent the final days of the summer open period on the road recruiting, touching base with potential Williams students who have the required athletic and academic backgrounds.
As for his staff, App said he hopes to have it in place by Sept. 1. He said the candidates could be chosen from those he knows or who were recommended to him.
Apps said he understands there might be some trepidation when it comes to having a new coach on hand. But he said the returning players seem ready to buy into his plans.
"I think they're excited. Any time you go through a coaching change, there's a little bit of anxiety," App said. "Once they understood my background, my familiarity [with Williams], some of the similarities in terminology and systems, I think they were pretty excited."
To reach Howard Herman:
or (413) 496-6253.
On Twitter: @howardherman.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.