TIMES STAFF REPORT
PIKEVILLE - East Kentucky Miners Coach Kevin Keathley won't shy away from pushing the basketball up the floor in the upcoming season or any other time. Keathley's coaching history proves he's enjoyed significant success while executing offensively in a system that puts points up on the scoreboard. In 2002 as an assistant coach on the men's basketball staff at Saint Catharine College, Keathley was a part of a team that averaged 95.6 points per game. After Saint Catharine, Keathley turned out high-scoring teams in the professional ranks with both the Louisville Eagles (UPBL) and Kentucky Colonels (ABA).
“As a basketball coach, I have had the opportunity to work under some very good offensive-minded coaches,” said Keathley. “My foundation is built on a style of play that gives players the opportunity to exploit their defenders' weaknesses. Anytime you have a team that feels confident in having the ability to make plays out of its offensive system it makes for a very secure minded basketball team as a whole.”
The Keathley-coached Kentucky Colonels set an ABA single-game record for scoring with 165 points.
“I've tried to take a little bit from each coach that I've worked with over the years,” said Keathley. “I've also taken from legendary coaches such as the ‘Baron of the Bluegrass' Coach Adolph Rupp, and legendary UCLA Coach John Wooden.”
Keathley believes in his offensive philosophy.
“My offensive philosophy is based on putting players in a situation to succeed,” Keathley added. “I try not to handcuff a team from showcasing its basketball talents.”
The Miners coach has been able to implement an explosive offensive attack at each of his stops.
“Whether it has been at Saint Catharine or with the Louisville Eagles and Kentucky Colonels, we have been one of the top scoring teams on our level,” Keathley commented. “I think the fans will find Miners basketball to be the most exciting brand of basketball in the state of Kentucky. I know that Eastern Kentuckians will continue to travel to Lexington for basketball. But hopefully once the word spreads, Lexington will travel to Pikeville for basketball.”
Getting players who can execute in his system has become a top priority for the Miners mentor.
“The main objective for me at the moment is to go out and recruit and sign players that fit the type of system that I run,” said Keathley. “I'm working hard on finding players that can play multiple positions. The more versatile the players the more potent the offense in most cases.”
The Miners have free agent camp sessions scheduled for Aug. 4-5 at the Pikeville College Gym.
Looking ahead to the 2007-08 season, the Miners' inaugural campaign in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA), fans are in for a strong offensive showing each time the East Kentucky expansion team hits the hardwood.