The approaching boys basketball season invites second year head coach Patrick Noone to revisit last season’s mistakes. This will allow him to develop a specific style of coaching that is allocated for high team success.
“Last year we went about .500 and made … states so this year we want to do what we did last year and make the states with a playoff win against PDS,” Noone said.
The basketball team went 13–14, qualifying for the county and state tournaments last year. They won a close game by six points against town rival Princeton Day School in the county tournament, and lost the first game of the state tournament. Transition defense and a high shooting percentage saw the team victorious against PDS. This win clearly demonstrated what the team had accomplished throughout last season.
“In that game we did very well in every aspect. We got back well on defense and [had] good offensive efficiency. Being efficient on offense and tough on defense is really what we have to focus on this year,” John Girouard ’18 said. “I think this game can act as a mold to set our team up for this upcoming season.”
The team hopes that the momentum gained from last season’s victory over PDS will carry over into this year’s campaign. In his second season, Noone is focusing on aspects of the game that the team has room to grow in.
“I think we need to improve on our offensive efficiency, giving up less turnovers and shooting higher percentage shots,” Noone said. “We also want to work on our transition defense, not giving up any easy layups, making teams work for what they score.”
Turning over the ball less and lengthening the time it takes for the opposition to score utilizes the game clock effectively. The offense is able to have more possession, and the defense stops large momentum swings that can negatively impact the game. Playing possession basketball, however, requires endurance, and the team has been working in the offseason to improve this.
“We have had a really good showing of guys in the weight room and constantly running the track in late August, September, and October,” Noone said.
The boys basketball team works with PHS athletic trainer John Torre. These workouts enable the team to play how Coach Noone wants them to play and builds team chemistry in the process.
“Running on the track and lifting weights definitely helped our team tremendously. Becoming a stronger, faster, and more athletically inclined as a team is definitely going to help us on the court this season,” said Girouard.
Having stamina on the court also makes substitutions less necessary. This allows for starting and experienced players to maximize their playing time. Having an experienced starting five on the court is crucial to the team’s success because of the senior-dominated squad that has graduated.
With official tryouts and practices beginning on 11/20, the team is set to begin their game schedule in mid-December. Noone is emphasizing overall team effort and a willingness to improve in the preseason.
“The [things] we want to do the most [are] just [competing] every day in practice, putting in the reps, and not worrying so much about the sport, but realizing that we are putting in effort and striving to be better.”