On the corner of one of the greaseboards that adorn the walls of the Army coaches' meeting room, head coach Zach Spiker has laid out his plans for the Army basketball program. The "Evolution of Success" written on the wall outlines the process he and the program embarked on four years ago. Starting at "nobody" and ending with "dynasty," the evolution also includes the steps of "upstart," "contender," "winner," and "champion." The fifth-year Army mentor believes they are the right path to continue taking those steps.
Even with all the scoring and three-point shooting success that have highlighted the last four seasons, Spiker believes the key to evolving to the next level is defense.
"Teams that have traditionally won this league and gone to the NCAA Tournament have been near the top in taking care of the basketball, led the league in scoring, been the most consistent defensive team and had a strong rebounding game," Spiker said. "Teams that have success in the Patriot League are near the top, if not the best team, defensively, and we were in the middle of the pack last year. If we're serious about what we're trying to do, we need to make a bigger commitment defensively than we've ever made before."