2nd and 3rd Game

Been awhile since I posted but things been going along well. I’m not a very observant person, I lived in my current house for almost a year before I noticed we had a flagpole, but I really feel like I’m reaching the kids. We did a shooting drill where we split into two teams and line up at a spot on the floor. First guy on each team shoots and then gets his own rebound, first team to ten makes wins. Cody, who’s not much of a shooter, was getting frustrated cause he wasn’t making much and he kinda started pouting and not giving his best effort. So next practice when he asked me if we’d do 2v2 king on the mountain I told him we were gonna do the shooting drill first and as long as he didn’t pout we could do 2v2 after and his energy and effort really improved.

So second game we played a Burlington team that wasn’t that talented. We put the press on right from the start and got a few turnovers but then their coach took a timeout and their pg was able to handle it pretty well for the rest of the game. Isaiah got in foul trouble early but Carter was able to carry a lot of the offense, Ethan and Cody had pretty solid games too, it was close till the 4th then we were finally able to put them away.

Third game we played a La Conner team that was absolutely huge. One of their guys was standing next to Jake and literally looked like he was twice as tall as him. We only had 6 guys and they were already kinda tired from just playing, we had a back to back that day, so they really hammered us inside. As many offensive rebounds as we gave up the first game we gave up even more against these guys. Isaiah actually hit five threes and we scored like 42 points but they had so many offensive put backs it didn’t even matter they scored like 60.

So next two practices we worked a lot on boxing out. I’d say that’s probably the toughest thing to teach cause it’s really not something that’s glamorous and you really have to be willing to get physical but they look a lot better at it then they did last week so that’s good. We worked a little on how we’re gonna play against a box and 1 and a 2-3, two things La Conner threw at us. In a 4-out offense usually you want your post just saying low block if he’s not very skilled, which neither of my guys really are, but I told them they can go high post against a 2-3. I mostly just told them to be careful with the ball as defenders can come from anywhere at that spot so we’ll see how they do with just that and make adjustments during the game and at next practice.

First Game and Adjustments

So we played Stanwood and they took it to us. We started out well it was 8-8 at one point but then we just lost momentum. They made a run and our guys got a little shell shocked and we just couldn’t recover. The pressure of both the game and of that they were applying to us led to a lot of bad turnovers which they converted into easy points. Isaiah also was over helping a lot and that led to his free man getting countless offensive rebounds and easy buckets. We went zone in the second half mainly just so I could see how well we would run it and it was a mess all over so we went back to man to man in the 4th. We did a good job of being aggressive and attacking but they also went zone in the second half and we didn’t do a good job of relocating when their secondary defenders would help. I’ve talked about how we’ll struggle against zone but we work almost every practice on driving, jump stopping and then turning and hitting your reloading teammate so hopefully we’ll be better. They finished with 45 points or so but at least 30 of them were just from bad turnovers and the numerous offensive rebound put backs they had. I’d say that’s good and bad. Good because it wasn’t like we just couldn’t guard them and they were killing us but bad because we can’t give up points that easily. I’ve talked about how everyone has to rebound this week and I feel like they’re understanding that more. The turnovers I’m not so sure about, basically they just need to settle down and make sure everyone’s in their spot in our offense so before trying to make something happen.

Despite the big loss we did some good things I think we can build on. We never went to our full on trapping press but Carter and Ethan did get up there and press them a little and we got some turnovers out of that so I think we will start out next game with a full on press and potentially stay with it for as long as the game is close. We also were able to break them down some and get penetration so I think if we run our offense better this game those drives will lead to a lot more scoring opportunities.

I got a new kid, Alex who’s actually got some game and he’s a bigger kid too so I think him and Cody will just split time at post and Isaiah will play on the perimeter. So that leaves six perimeter players with four spots. Isaiah, Hayden, Carter and Ethan are clearly on another level than Kindred and Jacob. So I can either play the four of them 3/4 of the game and the other two 1/2 or play them all 2/3. Difficult decision, on the one hand it’s obviously more fair to the two to play them for half as they’ve been coming to practice, but it’s probably more fair to the team to play the better kids more as it gives us a better chance to win. I think I’ll probably just end up taking it game by game. If we’re playing a team with a good record and it’s close then I’ll go with my stars but if we get up or down big then I’ll give the other guys some more run.

Final Preparations

So tomorrow’s the first game. It’s not a league game all it does is determine which division we’re going to be placed in but it’ll be a good barometer for where we’re at, I’ve been blown out the previous two seeding games so I’d really like to get a win here. I’m optimistic, I usually am at the start of the season, but I feel like we’ve got a pretty good team. Outside shooting remains our biggest weakness but our guards are pretty solid otherwise and our big man is good to go. Cody will struggle I think but hopefully the other more experienced guys will help him out.

We spent the last practice working on two simple, quick hitting plays, one for the tip-off and one a baseline out of bounds play. They executed them well enough so hopefully we can get something out of them.

Not sure how our zone defense will look as we haven’t scrimmaged 5 on 5 much given we only have 7 players but most guys on the team have played in it so if it sucks we can work on it next week at practice.

I’ve told the perimeter guys it’s ok for them to switch screens but I don’t want our big men doing it in pick and roll situations but when we’ve played 2 on 2 they’ve basically switched everything and anything other than that has resulted in pretty porous defense so I’m sure we’ll have to work on that.

We also got to finally work on our press breaker this week so if they throw one at us we should be ready. Carter, Hayden and Ethan should all be able to handle one on one pressure, not sure about Kindred and Jacob but we’ll see.