Southern Boone basketball head coach Andy Jahnsen knows his team. But he doesn’t know his team.
It’s the weird situation that comes with a large portion of his players being multi-sport athletes whose time was taken up by football practices until Monday night, as the football team made an appearance in the state quarterfinal game last Friday.
Some of his most talented players, including Sam Stichnote and Tyson Smith, will only have practiced with the team once before their first game last night vs Harrisburg.
And while talented players can take the floor and get by with one practice, basketball is still different than football and demands a mindset and physical shift. Simply playing with the other four guys on a court is a piece Jahnsen would have liked in place earlier. But he doesn’t fault the success of Southern Boone sports and knows that multi-sport athletes are the norm.
“I was a three-sport athlete myself, so I totally understand the dynamics of kids going from one season to the next,” Jahnsen said. “It makes a better athlete because they’re more diverse. Something they pick up in soccer or football might make them a better basketball player, whether it be footwork or strength.”
And with a long season, Jahnsen knows November and December won’t make or break their success come February.
That raw athleticism is what Jahnsen knows he’s going to have on his team. Returning four of the five starters from last year and retaining younger players who had significant minutes, he believes their identity is pretty set.
“We’re scrappy. We’re going to play extremely fast. We play physical and we get up and down the floor as quick as we possibly can. We’re a run and gun team,” Jahnsen said.
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