For Friends men's basketball coach Dale Faber, the difference between teaching a guard and a post player the game of basketball has always been easy to distinguish.
"I kind of expect my guards to be Supreme Being No. 2 or something," Faber said. "I want them to know all and see all. With my bigs, it's very, very basic."
Basic, for Faber, essentially means there are one or two spots where the big man needs to be, and he'll try to make it as simple as he can to teach that player where those spots are and when they need to be there.
Of course, there are always exceptions to any rule. In this case, that exception is 7-foot, 240-pound redshirt freshman Zak Vanlooy, with whom Faber finds himself trying to resolve some decidedly un-simple issues as he tries to turn Vanlooy from a project to a dominating player.
And so far, the big man is making the grade, even if he's still a long ways from where Faber thinks he could be.
"He has a body. He can run. He has a nice jump hook," Faber said. "My wish for him is to fall in love with the game of basketball. So far, he's done everything we asked of him. He's willing to learn."
Faber also wants Vanlooy to take things slow as far as expectations, to the point where he wanted the Marysville, Mich., native to wait before doing his first interview.
"Being a 7-footer is a lot like being a kicker in football," Faber said. "You're kind of on an island, people see you and expect you to perform. (Zak) needs people on his side. I want him just to be able to be himself because we feel really lucky to have him here."
If Vanlooy is to contribute this season for the Falcons, he'll have to do it, at times, with possibly four guards on the floor.
Faber, in his seventh season, has missed the NAIA Division II tournament the last two years and has brought in a talented group of transfers to try and return to the postseason and win his first regular-season KCAC title. Last season, Friends finished tied for sixth place.
Newcomers Brett Steven (Wichita State), All-KCAC guard Avery Richardson (Southwestern) and Sean Jantz (Dodge City Community College) should all be able to help change that.
Vanlooy, if he can contribute, could be the difference. It's that simple.
"I don't think people that have expectations of him will be disappointed with what they see this year," Faber said. "We might be a little tardy in living up to all of the things people think he should be doing, but he'll get there. It'll come with experience and I think he'll be fine."