The new boy’s basketball coach at Troy Buchanan, Tim Gilmore, is hitting the ground running with his charge over his new program and from the sound of it, couldn’t have a better group of players to rise to the occasion.
“We’re just sort of spending the first three weeks before we get our jamboree going, just kind of getting our offensive and our defensive systems in,” Gilmore said.
He said that his players have been extremely receptive to him as a new coach and are hungry to learn the system.
“The first few days of practice have been great. The kids have responded so well. I love our energy at practice,” Gilmore said.
One thing he admitted might be a weak point in their team this season is the fact that they aren’t “crazy big” this year. But the system and way they will play will allow for them to exploit teams in other ways.
“The one thing that hurts us a little bit is that we’re not crazy big this year. But we do have a lot of speed. The kids play hard. We’re going to try to get up and defensively press the basketball hard. Offensively, we’re going to try to get out on the break and make ourselves a good transition based team. We won’t be getting easy buckets just because we won’t be able to pound it inside as much as much as we’d like to, which is where lack of size might hurt us a little bit,” Gilmore said.
Over the past few years, even with more size on the team, the Trojans have still made pressing the basketball and some of the other principles that Gilmore is bringing to the table priorities, so he doesn’t think that there will be any issues during games as far as what is expected of the players.
“One thing that’s kind of nice for me, the last couple years, we’ve had some size while still stressing trying to get out and press the basketball. To make our lives easier, we are going to have to pressure the basketball, either full court or definitely in the half court, just so we can challenge the passes into the post. And we will have to double on the backside of the post to kind of disrupt anyone that has a big man in the post,” Gilmore said.
He stressed that offensively, his team is going to have to play quick, looking for any opportunity to break down the court so fast that the result is uncontested scoring attempts. “But our system will still be get up and down. We’re going to try to play fast and quicken the pace and try to use our athleticism to keep the other team guessing. We’ll try to get out on the break as much as possible and try to get easy buckets that way,” Gilmore said.
Gilmore also said that the fact that he has a team of players possessing solid knowledge of the game could be a major factor in his team’s performance.
“We feel like we have a pretty high IQ team as well so if we get in a half court setup, if a team tries to slow us down, we’ll try to win our sets and move the basketball side to side and share it and make sure that we are getting high quality shots each possession,” Gilmore said. Troy might have lost a few key players from last year but are returning a majority, which is always a plus.
“We’re returning the majority of our team so the kids have been playing together for the past three years which is kind of nice as well. We have a good group of senior leaders, which helps, and some juniors to go with them as well,” Gilmore said. The team has been playing together over the summer and played in a fall league as well.
“The team chemistry is definitely there. I think that is the key piece to making practices so productive,” Gilmore said.
He mentioned a few times that he felt like he was getting the most out of his players in practice and that they were giving their all. But he also said that his players really know how to practice.
“Right now it’s so nice because they know how to practice and I think that’s the key. I think with me bringing in different drills and different ideas on the offensive and defensive system, the kids know that the two and a half hours we go, it’s 100 percent on everything we do. We are focused on everything we do and I like that,” Gilmore said.
He added that occasionally, with younger players, they have to be reminded of the philosophy of practice and how to practice right, but the Troy players, Gilmore has found, really don’t need reminding, as they practice as hard as they can day in and day out.
Gilmore said that is super important also for the sake of how much he is giving the players to learn in the short amount of time they have before the season starts.
“We definitely have productive practices because of the high basketball IQ and the leadership that we have in the upper grades,” Gilmore said.