Cougars adjust to new coaching style
Nov. 15, 2010 at 5:15 a.m.
New coach Alan Driggers knows a transition is in order this year for the Faith Academy Cougars basketball team. He's busy, though, laying a foundation for what he hopes will be a successful program.
The Cougars have dropped their first three games of the season, but senior guards Malik Gadsen and Cody Boehm can see Driggers' foundation. Driggers replaced Matt McLeod.
"Last year we were so focused on just running plays that we didn't play basketball," Gadsen said
Added Boehm: "Coach McLeod is more offense and Coach Driggers is more defense, which doesn't suit me very well. But I'm learning to adjust."
After the first game of the season, a 77-53 loss to the Victoria Cobras, Driggers said he and the team were still adjusting to each other.
And it starts with practice.
"A little more structure than what's been done in the past, so it's taken a little bit of time," Driggers said.
Driggers is a new face in the increasingly changing atmosphere at Faith Academy.
The Cougars' and Lady Cougars' athletic programs are on pace to grow. The school is building a new gym and six-man football teams are planned for the 2011-12 school year. The school plans on enrollment growth, too.
Amid that institutional plan for growth, Driggers' job is to mold his team into winners.
Driggers was impressed with the potential of some of the young, athletic players on his team.
"I have good athletes. I don't have good basketball players yet," Driggers said.
Any new coach needs to gain the respect of his team. Driggers did just that.
"He showed us that he knows what hes doing, and he's here to win," Gadsen said.
Gadsen, Boehm and Sean Striedel are three key seniors on a team that returns six players from last season's TAPPS regional finalists that went 27-12 overall, including a 7-1 district mark.
Those three seniors will need to do more than lead by example on the court. They will be expected to help ease the transition from last season's style of play to this year.
"It's good in that they bring in some senior leadership as well as a little higher basketball IQ, but at the same time were having to re-learn a new system," Driggers said. "They're having to unlearn what they did last year and work in the new system."
Gadsen is looking to finish his second full season after missing most of his sophomore year with a broken tibia.
Despite having a senior year many would consider a transition season, Gadsen still has high goals.
"We've been going to regionals and area playoffs since I've been here," Gadsen said. "I would love for us to go to state and win a state title."