Scoring System

New varsity coach brings physical play, new philosophies


Kat Culp

Looking for a hole: Freshman Omar Smart looks to get past the McCallum defender in a non-district game. The Tigers won both games against McCallum this year.

Caleb Wiesenhutter, Reporter

Head coach Josh Barnes stares on as the players run through their offense, preparing for the district schedule ahead of them. Barnes, in his first season, wants to lead the Tigers back into playoffs and help them advance further. As practice winds to an end, senior Tyler Coleman drops a pass down to senior Dupree Allen and Barnes blows his whistle. “Great work guys! Keep it up!”
“The guys are starting to adapt more to my coaching style and philosophies and we’re getting better everyday,” Barnes said. “It’s hard to have the kids buy into a new system, but now, they’ve overcome that hurdle and have starting really buying into it and as a result, we’re starting to get better and closer as a team. Day by day it’s been a process but things are all starting to come together.”
With a change in coaching from last year to this year, according to the team there’s been a lot of differences for those previously on varsity, but senior Brandon Honeycutt feels the changes have made them better.
“We’ve really stepped up a lot on our intensity,” Honeycutt said. “Everythings at a faster pace, and it’s practically on a better scale. We’ve been getting up and down the court a lot more, when last year there were to many times we’d just sit back and play and let things come to us. It’s helped us all just push harder and harder, instead of playing back.”
In order to maintain the game-like intensity and grow into the new system, the team has been working on multiple drills and scrimmages against each other to keep the pace and according to Allen, it has benefited the play of the team.
“We’re really starting to come into and bindng to the new system we have,” Allen said. “People have started doing things on their own, and it’s just taken time to learn it all. Malcolm McGregor and Deshawn Jackson waited their turn and now whenever they come in they’ve just been a huge benefit to the team from the beginning.”
This year, the team, according to Barnes, has seen Allen grow into a leadership role. Barnes says he’s stepped up a lot with the position and is excited to see it happen.
“I’ve just tried to maintain our focus this year,” Allen said. “I’ve tried to keep everyone in shape and help people grow and play in their role, and the main idea has just been to keep everyone motivated and positive so that we can make a deep run in the playoffs.”
Additionally, the team has seen the growth, leadership and development from everyone but the younger players have really flourished and played a big role in early season success in the eyes of fellow players and Barnes. Sophomore Deshawn Jackson, sophomore Grant El-Dier and freshman Omar Smart are all apart of the team for their first year and Jackson said it’s really improved their games as a whole.
“Things are a lot more physical,” Jackson said. “The coaches have worked with us a lot and have help us get better. Coach Wright has helped us get stronger down low with post moves and leading us in the weight room in the offseason and that’s really helped prepare and shape me for the new season.”
The team says they have a lot of things they want to accomplish, but there’s one thing that Barnes always reminds the boys about; they know they have one constant they’re trying to continually maintain.
“Just focusing on the next 8 minutes we play,” Barnes said. “We talk about always playing four quarters and we’ve really broken things down know by just playing a quarter at a time. This has really been a point of emphasis for us.”
Past that, the players say they all have one specific goal in mind they want to achieve that alluded them last year; making it past the first round of playoffs.
“We definitely want to get into playoffs,” Barnes said. “And once we get there just taking it one game at a time, but that all starts with how we perform the rest of the year.”