Pride mens basketball held its second day of tryouts on Tuesday in Blake Arena. The second day of tryouts was set up a bit different than the first. The first half of the tryout consisted of some team-oriented offensive and defensive drills. The last hour was reserved for scrimmaging.
The first cuts
On the first day of tryouts, 26 players were in attendance. On the second day, there were 18 players in attendance:
Kevin Durkin (did not participate)
Last season the team took 13 players for its final roster. This year the competition for a walk-on spot is tight. It’ll be interesting to see how the final roster stands come Wednesday after the final cuts.
In the first half of Tuesday’s tryout, the players were put through drills that tested their ability to pickup on the program’s offensive and defensive schemes.
One drill involved two teams of four with the offense standing around the three-point arc and the defenders playing man-to-man defense. The drill was designed to see how well defenders closed out on shooters and if players knew where to be on the weak side defensively.
The team also ran a drill to see how well newcomers could pick up on the program’s offensive plays.
The drills marked a clear difference in tryouts from day one to two, with day one seeming to be more focused on individual basketball skills and while the second day had a bigger focus on how the players worked in team-centered drills and how well newcomers could absorb new offensive schemes.
There were several solid performers in the scrimmage period at the end of the tryout, but a few stood out.
Junior guard Trey Witter did what he does best in his game; knock down three-pointers.
He found ways to get shots up off the dribble and off of catch-and-shoot situations. Look forward to Witter being a nice spark off the bench and potentially working his way into starting some games for the Pride this season.
Heath Post was able to do a little bit of everything in his game. He picked up a large portion of the loose balls that bounced off the rim and slammed through a dunk or two. What was most impressive was his ability to shoot the long-ball. Post, who stands at 6′ 6″, has the ability to get aggressive down low, but he has continued to show that he has the ability to step outside and make a three-pointer from time to time. In the last two seasons, Post’s three-point shooting percentage has increased from 25 percent to 39 percent. There seems to be no reason why his shot selection and finishing ability won’t continue to improve.
Junior Richard Jacobson worked hard on defense in his game. He showcased a strong sense of defensive fundamentals in the team-oriented defensive drill. During the drill, he was complimented by an assistant coach for his defensive closeout. Although his offensive game is sturdy, his defense is what created opportunities for himself and his teammates on the other end. Watch for Jacobson to be in the mix as one of the team’s top choices to guard an opponents best guard this season.
Photo and video courtesy of Gage Nutter