Coach's Corner #13
1. Was the 15-4 first quarter lead Lancaster Catholic jumped out to too much for you guys to come back from or did you
feel that there was still plenty of time for the team to get back into the game?
I wasn’t in panic mode yet. We were down 9-2 against Somerset and were able to come back. The one difference in this
game is that we were unable to make a first half run to cut into that lead. Lancaster Catholic did a very good job of spreading
the floor and went into a four corners type offense to shorten the game and limit our possessions.
2. Can you talk a little about how the team battled back in the second half and although it was too little, too late, that
you were able to get the deficit to under ten points when the team was down 20 earlier in the second half?
Despite our poor performance in the first half we still made a great run and should have cut it to 4 points with 4 minutes
left when Richard Agurs got called for the charge and his fifth foul. That call really diminished our chances of coming back.
You could feel the air let out. Instead of a 4 point deficit, we were facing an 8 point deficit. I have never seen a charge
called with a player standing underneath the net. The only thing a defender can do at that point is get the ball out of the
net after a made basket.
3. In general, do you have any final reflections on the 2008-09 season both from a team perspective in what they were able
to accomplish as well as your first season on the bench and in charge of the Trojans?
I think we exceeded a lot of expectations. We were coming off a 13-15 season and did not return a lot of experience other
than Paul Weatherly and Richard Agurs. Both of our point guards had spent more time on the wrestling mat than they had on
a basketball court. From those perspectives, I think we had an outstanding season.
In retrospect, I am very proud of what the guys were able to accomplish. The tone has been set for the program moving forward.
4. I did the same thing with Kevin for the football team, could you give us a few parting words on each of your seniors?
(Please note, I grabbed this roster from MaxPreps, if it is not current, please add any players I may have missed and at the
same token if there are players on it that didn't finish the season, those can be deleted):
First of all, I just want to thank all of our seniors for helping our staff in the transition to JHS. Sometimes the seniors
are the ones that suffer in a coaching change, but these guys were great to work with and once they bought into the system,
we experienced success.
I am so proud of Quadir! He has come so far as a basketball player. To think that this was his first season of varsity
basketball is amazing. He really grew as a player and leader as the season progressed. At times you could tell that he was
a first-year player, but most of the time he looked like a seasoned veteran. It is scary to think what he could have accomplished
had he had a basketball in his hands a few more years.
Carlton has matured a great deal since the summer. We butted heads a few times as I tried to teach Carlton a few life lessons.
Once he understood that, Carlton had a fabulous senior season. He averaged 10 points and 5 rebounds. He had several clutch
plays throughout the season that sealed some wins for us. We do not win the Altoona game or Tyrone playoff game without Carlton
Taylor come to the team late after moving from Florida. He did not contribute in the games at all, but he did a very good
job in practice helping our team prepare. He may be the best free-style rapper on the team.
WhtI can I say about Paul. He has had a phenomenal career at JHS. He finished his career as the third all-time leading
scorer behind Kurt Hoffman and Don Maser and ahead of former NBA player Pat Cummings. Those are some pretty big names in JHS
Paul is a tremendous leader by example. His work ethic is absolutely second to none. He is a terrific role model for the
up and coming Trojans. He volunteered his time with our Mini-Trojan program. He is always giving back.
Paul averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds this year. He is probably the best rebounder I have ever coached and one of the
best human beings I have ever coached.
5. A few weeks ago you had a great answer to a question in which you laid out your goals for every season. You said you
have six goals for every season, three of those are tangible and objective (LHAC title, D6 title, state title) but the other
three are more intangible or subjective (the team, players and coaches all improve as the season goes on). Can you elaborate
on those three intangible goals and how you feel the team progressed throughout the season?
There is always room for improvement for players and coaches. Immediately after the season, I wrote down some personal
notes on what I could have done better, what I will change for next year, and what I think I did well.
Player improvement usually happens in the off-season. There is an old saying that goes, "Players are made in the summer
and teams are made in the winter." That is true to a point. I think what we try to do is improve the player within the team
concept. I think we accomplished that goal or we would not have experienced the success that we did.
As far at the team improving, I think that goes without saying. The best compliment I received this year was on the bus
ride home from St. Francis after winning the District Championship. I received a congratulatory phone call from my good friend
and Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Pitt-Johnstown, Bob Rukavina. He said, "Dave, I saw you guys play Forest Hills and
Bedford at the beginning of the season and I saw you again tonight." "You guys are a completely different team than you were
6. Although you lose three starters and a lot of leadership in your senior class, you have some nice players returning
and a great group of incoming sophomores based on the success of the junior high season (undefeated and LHAC champs), do you
have any early thoughts on the 2009-10 season?
The coach in me wanted to get back in the gym on Saturday (after the playoff loss). The husband and father in me said I
need to stay home for a little while and get reacquainted with my family.
I am really excited about next year. The foundation has been laid at both the varsity and the Jr. High levels. Coach Janidlo
and Coach Wyatt have done a great job with those freshmen keeping them grounded and playing within our system. I think several
of those young men will compete for a lot of playing time next year. That will serve as motivation to our upperclassmen because
they know how talented those freshmen are.
We return 2 starters in Richard Agurs and Travis Williams. Sixth-man Cliff Eddins also returns after a tremendous sophomore
season. We also return role players Josh Konar, Dajour Morris, Demetrius Gibson, and Jordan Jefferson.
Dave, thanks for all the insight throughout the season and congratulations on a great first season as coach of the Trojans.
I look forward to working with you in future seasons.
Thanks Doug! It has been a pleasure. I am excited about being a Trojan!
I would like to give a plug if I could. On May 2nd, we will be holding a Trojan Basketball Golf Scramble at North Fork
Country Club. The cost is $75 per person (foursomes only) and includes, golf, cart, food and beverages. All proceeds will
go to sending our team to Pitt’s Team Camp in June and a new set of Columbia blue uniforms.
If you would like more information or you would like a brochure, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Webmaster's note: I've put links to a page where you can obtain the brochure for the golf outing.)