By Michael Peters
This college’s men’s basketball team made its return at tryouts Sept. 6 in Gym 2 of Candler Physical Education Center.
The turnout was tremendous with 54 students showing up hoping to make the team.
“It was a great turnout,” said Matthew Ramirez, kinesiology sophomore and men’s basketball coach.
Tryouts started with a full-court layup drill, during which the student starts at the baseline and passes the ball to a teammate further up the court. The teammate throws a lead pass, which the original player takes on a drive to the hoop and attempts a layup.
The students went from full-court layup to full-court free throw line jumpers next.
The first two drills were executed well but the three-man weave drill had a few hiccups.
During the drill, a group of three students work their way down the court only by passing the ball with no dribbling allowed. Groups starting too soon after each other plagued the drill, and there were several bad passes.
The next drill focused on running off a low-post screen, receiving a pass and taking a free-throw line extended jump shot or a baseline jump shot depending on which side of the court the drill was taking place.
Attentions turned to defense next with drills focusing on proper defensive stances and movements.
Following the defensive drills were suicides, during which students ran from the baseline to half-court and back before running the full length of the court.
Suicides weren’t the end of the running for the students. Next they had to run from one wall to the other and back in seven seconds.
The final drill was full-court five-on-five, during which players who were guaranteed a spot on the team participated.
Players who practiced with the team and played in the scrimmage against St. Philip’s College last semester were guaranteed a spot on the team.
One returning player, though, was not able to participate.
Biology sophomore Edward Kessler was finishing up his usual 3-mile run when he was the victim of a hit-and-run.
His head hit the windshield, knocking him out and sending him to the hospital with a concussion.
The incident occurred Sept. 2 off-campus.
Kessler is on crutches with a brace on his right leg but is hopeful of returning for the start of the season.
“Yeah, I’ll be back,” he said. “I just have to take it easy for now because the season doesn’t start for a month.”
No bones were broken in his leg and Kessler is awaiting the results of an MRI to find out if he has any ligament damage.
Tryouts ended after five-on-five and Ramirez had to make final cuts.
Twelve students made the team and will be suited up for games while seven more will practice with the team and play if injuries occur.
“We were missing some big men, but I’m more at ease now,” Ramirez said. The team is on the right track, Ramirez said before admitting there’s still work to do.
Ramirez said his team has the capability to be versatile on offense and defense.
“We have good shooters and athletes at every position,” he said.
As far as the style of play, Ramirez is willing to adapt during the game.
“We’ll have a lot of run and gun, but if that isn’t working we’ll move to a motion offense,” he said.
Defensively, Ramirez said his team has a strong zone defense but is also capable in man-to-man.
The season starts at 8 p.m. Oct. 16 at Southwest Texas Junior College, 2401 Garner Field, Uvalde. For more information call Ramirez, 210-371-7401.