GREENVILLE – Having lost all five of its starters to graduation, the summer is providing invaluable time for the Greenville boys basketball team.
Greenville had seven seniors on last year’s team, three of whom are going on to play college basketball. The seven departed seniors combined to score more than 90 percent of the Green Wave’s points, which leaves big holes to fill in the upcoming season.
With such a large void left in the program, practices and scrimmages in June are really important for preparing for next winter, Greenville boys basketball coach Kyle Joseph said.
“Just looking to really get more guys playing experience against higher levels than maybe what they’ve played against in the past, get different guys playing with teammates they haven’t played with as much and hopefully just learning to play hard, play as a team,” he said.
In the summer high school basketball teams are permitted 10 instructional days. The Green Wave are using most of their days at shootouts including at Bluffton University, Denison University, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, the University of Rio Grande, Ashland University and Ohio Northern University.
The Wave also are participating in a summer league with teams from Benjamin Logan, Fairlawn, Franklin Monroe, Miami East, Newton, Russia, Troy Christian and Urbana. In the summer league none of the teams use coaches until the final day, which will be a tournament.
“It’s kind of hands off, and that’s a good opportunity for leadership and that kind of thing for them as well,” Joseph said.
During the summer wins and losses and individual scoring totals are less important than simply gaining experience. Joseph still would like to see his team play well, but that’s not the main focus.
“I’d like to see us compete and play well but just individually guys getting experience out here is big for them because obviously there’s a lot of minutes to be had at the varsity level next year,” he said.
Joseph has seen progress from his team this month.
“It’s not even that their skills are better it’s just they have a year under their belt, they feel more confident so now it’s about trying to piece both together, both the confidence and improving, too,” he said.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.