The Trojans traveled to Crawfordsville on Thursday evening for our annual pre-season scrimmage with the Athenians. After 9 practices our kids were looking forward to finally playing against some new faces and the coaching staff was excited to see us in a game-like situation as well. We played pretty much the way I expected us to. We played hard, but our timing and execution on the offensive end was a little off. Defensively we looked really good at times and at other times our communication and positioning broke down.
I’ve been asked by several people who were not at the scrimmage, “did you win?” Well, I guess if you added up the scores of the 4 quarters, you would have to say that we came out on top. But, looking at the score of a scrimmage can be very misleading. You don’t shoot FT (even on shooting fouls) until the last minute of each quarter…. Individual fouls are not kept… and regular substitution patterns aren’t used. Coaches don’t go into the scrimmage trying to “win.” Instead we go in with the goal of trying to find out as much as we can about our team. Here are few things (but not everything) that the coaching staff picked out as areas that need improvement:
- Our communication on defense was below average.
- Our players need to do a better job of getting into a stance at the defensive end.
- We were not consistent in boxing out.
- Our press rotations were way out of sync.
- We need to attack the basket off the dribble more often.
- We need to set and use screens more effectively.
Not everything was a negative. Our ball movement was good and we certainly are unselfish. We also shot the three fairly well. In fact, we had 7 different guys hit a three pointer and our team made 14 threes for the night. Probably the biggest positive on the night was our depth. I’ve told our coaching staff from Day One that this was the deepest team that I’ve ever coached and Thursday night’s performance didn’t make me change my mind. We played 11 guys major minutes and all of them demonstrated that they can play at the varsity level. The problem for me and the coaching staff this year will be trying to divide the playing time in a way that allows us to utilize our depth to our advantage without disrupting our continuity on the floor. A coach can only play 5 guys at a time and in high school we only play 32 minute games. It definitely is going to be an issue that challenges the coaching staff. The flip side of this problem is the fact that our practices have been as competitive as they have ever been. I’m not trying to offend any of our opponents by saying this, but I honestly believe that some of the best competition our starting five is going to see this year is our second unit.
One other positive was our crowd. It was really nice to travel to Crawfordsville and see more gold and black in the stands than blue and gold. We have a number of road games in the early part of the season, so hopefully this will be the beginning of a trend for us. Our first game is Wednesday, November 26th at Western Boone. We hope to see you there.
This is the third installment of a 4 part series entitled- Nine Tips For Basketball Parents. If you missed the first two installments, you can find them by clicking on the parents tab at the top of the page. Here are tips #5 and #6.....
#5 Your Son Is Not His Performance- Love Him Unconditionally
The quickest way to damage your relationship with your son is to punish him after a poor performance. Your son needs to know without any reservation that his self-worth and lovability have nothing to do with his performance on the floor. Kids generally feel bad enough after a game where they didn’t play up to their potential. Often times they feel like they have let down their team, their coach, or their parents. After a rough night on the court even some well-meaning constructive criticism from a parent makes the child feel like he isn’t loved as much by the people who are supposed to love him the most. I think it is important for parents to choose their words and their tone carefully after games in which their son didn’t play up to his potential.
#6 Make Sure Your Son’s Goals Are His Goals
I think it is very important to know whether your son is playing basketball because they enjoy it, or is it to please their parents? If you catch yourself saying things like, “our jump shot is too flat”, or “We really need to start driving the ball to the basket more," when you are really talking specifically about your son- then your son is probably not playing “for himself.” In fact he is probably playing to please you or for your vicarious glory and that leads to nothing but problems in the long term. It is certainly normal for parents to want their son to be as successful as possible, but parents can't make that happen by pressuring their son to meet their standard of performance. Players must set their own goals and parents need to support them. When the parents expectations on performance level far exceed their son’s, then basketball quits being fun. It’s when a player has his own reasons and his own goals for participating that he grows to love the game and has a much greater chance of achieving his goals.
Trojans Win 3rd Consecutive Schlarman Tournament
From the desk of Chad Tanner....
The 8th Grade team participated in the Schlarman Hilltopper Tournament for the 3rd consecutive year on November 7th and 8th. Having been tournament champions the previous two years, the Trojans had high expectations going into the weekend. The Friday night game against Bismarck saw the boys get off to a somewhat expected slow start. However, once the offense got going, the Trojans pulled out to a 16-10 halftime lead, and coasted to a 38-19 victory. The scoring was very balanced, with all players getting in the scoring column. Magwire Cutrell led the team with 8 points, followed by Cade Chezem and Logan Foster with 7 points each.
The second round game featured the Trojans facing off against Georgetown. The Trojan defense was too much for the Panthers in this one, and offensively, things were starting to click for our boys. The game was never in doubt, and the Trojans finished with a 54-21 win. Leading scorers were Keaton Fye with 18, Logan Myers with 16, and Logan Freed with 10 points. With the victory, the Trojans earned a spot in the evening's championship game.
Saturday night, the Covington 8th graders faced off against the Armstrong-Potomac Cardinals in the title game. The Trojan defense was outstanding in this contest, limiting the Cardinals to 15 points for the game. Once again, scoring again was very balanced, with all players scoring at least 4 points. The final score was 45-15, and the Trojans were presented with the championship trophy for the 3rd year in a row.
This tournament was a great preseason test for the team. It gave the boys a good look at the things that we will need to work on to prepare for the upcoming regular season. Way to go Trojans!
The Varsity and JV Boys Basketball team will be hosting a practice that is open to the public on Monday, November 17. Practice is from 6-8 pm in the varsity gym and if you are attending, you should use the main entrance to get into the building.
Generally our practices are closed to the public, but I thought it would be a good idea to open the doors one time this year and let everyone see what goes on behind the scenes. I'm no different than most coaches—I love practice. In many ways, I enjoy practice more than the games. Planning daily workouts and seeing our kids improve each day is extremely gratifying. A lot of thought goes into planning each practice and the reslut is a highly organized and purposeful 2 hour workout without any wasted time. I think you will be impressed with how much we get done how hard our players work. I encourage you to come out and see us on Monday evening.
After practice we will have an informational meeting for parents of all JV and Varsity basketball players. The meeting will be held in the HS library and will last approximately 30 minutes. Parents are not required to attend practice, but I think it is important for at least one parent of every player attend the parent meeting.