With the 2013-14 season winding down, the seniors are aiming to end their high school careers on a positive note. The Senior Spotlight series takes a look at the 2014 prospects as they review their final year and discuss their plans for the future.
Rylan Malone is a 6-foot shooting guard for Topeka West (6-11) . Malone is averaging 9.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.4 steals a game. He has scored 21 points twice and has also had a 19-point game. Topeka West hosts Junction City on Tuesday.
What are your thoughts on the way your team is playing lately?
RM: “When we play together, shoot and share the ball well, we’re a pretty special team. Our coach says that February is when teams play their best and were playing our best.”
What are the keys for your team in the final few games before heading into the postseason?
RM: “To penetrate the basketball more, rebound stronger and to get to the foul line more. Being humble and playing with poise. To be able to finish games and finish leads.”
What has it been like playing for head coach Rick Bloomquist?
RM: “Coach Bloomquist has been an amazing coach for me. He has helped my game improve in so many ways. He’s taught me in the two years he’s coached me what it takes to be a leader and not a follower. Through Bloomquist I learned discipline and confidence.”
Which one of your teammates has surprised you this season and why?
RM: “Marcus Vaughn. He’s been a great team player. How committed he is. All of the hard work he puts in. The consistency he’s having this season. He’s a good teammate and that makes his team player.”
How would you assess how the season is going for you personally?
RM: “Not as planned, we’ve lost a lot of close games that we should of won. Even though we got five wins, when we play our best, we play like a championship team.”
Which game do you consider your best this season and why?
RM: “The Manhattan game (on Feb. 11) I thought I played well not just myself my whole team did. I had nine points, five rebounds, six steals, and four assists. We got the ‘W’ and that’s all that matters. I also played great against Topeka High (on Feb. 14) the next game putting up 13 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, and four steals.”
What are some areas of your game that you want to improve on?
RM: “I’m going to improve my ball-handling, my shot, and also my basketball IQ.”
What are your goals for next year?
RM: “Get good grades, play at the highest level and to get D-I offers.”
Who are your favorite NBA players and why?
RM: “LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Paul George, I like the way they play. All three play with no fear and the shots and dunks they make are unbelievable.”