Lincoln High School Statesman

Open gyms prep Pats for promising season

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Open gyms prep Pats for promising season

Sam Fawcett shooting hoops during open gym

Sam Fawcett shooting hoops during open gym

Johnathan Smith

Sam Fawcett shooting hoops during open gym

Johnathan Smith

Johnathan Smith

Sam Fawcett shooting hoops during open gym

Johnathan Smith, Staff Writer

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Basketball season is upon us! Well, not officially.

While the official season for LHS basketball has not yet begun, hopeful players have been taking to the court the past few weeks in order to work on their game and impress the coaching staff. Jeff Halseth, head coach for the LHS boys varsity basketball team, believes that these open gyms greatly benefit players who are trying to make the cut.

“[The players] get a chance to come and work on their game a little bit,” said Halseth. “They don’t have to play a game, so they can work on different moves, on ball handling, etc. But if they want to get in a game and work on competitiveness, then they can get in a game.”

Open gyms are an opportunity for players to improve their craft without the restrictions that a normal practice carries. While it is not a completely unregulated ordeal, the relative free reign that is given to the students is a process that Halseth uses to evaluate prospective players.

“We try to give them a few guidelines before games start,” said Halseth. One day it might be I’m looking for some offense, one day I might be I’m looking for some defense. But what it boils down to is how well these guys play together as teammates. We play different teams, different games all the time. What I look for is whoever they’re mixed up with, how do they play as a team.”

Halseth also believes in the importance of getting underclassmen, who have not been able to show off their skills to varsity coaches before, involved in open gyms.

“We don’t know them very well when they come in, so it’s a chance for us coaches to watch them and evaluate a little during the preseason,” said Halseth.

The players know full well what begins after the open gyms come to a close. In the first few weeks of practice, competition will increase as prospects duke it out for roster spots. Halseth understands that the opening days of practice are a chance to see what his players are made of.

“We throw a lot at them,” said Halseth. “That’s part of our tryout process. We’ll see who is picking things up as fast as we need to see them pick it up. We want to see how well they communicate to each other. It’s a lot of drill session in the first couple of weeks.”

As for the upcoming season, Halseth is optimistic. Last year, the Pats were ranked third heading into the state tournament. After a disappointing first round loss, LHS ended up finishing last among the eight teams participating. As a result, Halseth has a laser focus on his teams aspirations heading into the new season.

“Our goal every year is to get to the State tournament,” said Halseth. “That’s number one in my mind. Whatever happens when we get there depends on the goals of these guys. Our goal each game is to get a little better than the previous game.”

Author
Johnathan Smith, Staff Writer

Johnathan Smith is a junior and a first-year Statesman member. When he’s not off causing shenanigans with the boys, Johnathan is busy with football,...

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