Vikings transition to basketball

Zach Chytil, Sports Eidtor

The scoreboard is off, the refs are at another job, and the crowd is at another sport. But the basketball team is getting ready for the upcoming season anyway. Full workouts at the YMCA have begun to test players with scrimmages and drills. They have taken place three days a week for the past two months.
It is Jared Andersen’s second season as the head basketball coach for boy’s varsity. He holds workouts for players who do not play a fall sport. Tryouts were November 17 and Coach Andersen already has a plan. He sat the players who showed up to tryouts and made sure everyone was on the same page. He explained how he would hold them to a higher standard and demanded a certain class from them.
Basketball plays are complex, fragile, and demand precision. This is why Coach Andersen is embracing the “organized chaos” approach which has a few plays on offense that are not regularly used.
Instead of plays, Andersen relies more on sets which are positions or arrangements for the players to be in based on the opponent’s personnel. “I have sets to call and if we didn’t score on the last [play]. We won’t change sets if we don’t need to,” Andersen said.
With this open of a play style, it allows the players to focus on making plays instead of following them. This also allows for a wide range of scoring areas because with a set play, defenses cannot predict what will happen next or stop it. It’s a special combination of exploitation and disorientation.
The coach’s job becomes simpler yet more difficult. Instead of teaching players to run specific plays, he has to teach them to make good decision in the area they are assigned.
“On offense we need to take advantage of the other team’s weaknesses. On defense we need to speed things up,” Coach Andersen emphasized, “The most important thing they [players] can do is play hard.”
The main plan of attack to achieve these goals is Justin Patton, senior. At 6’ 10”, Justin can attack the defense from anywhere on the court. He has already received an offer from Creighton and has been the center of a story in the Omaha World Herald.
“Justin will get a lot of touches this year because he will be better than any opponent he goes up against,” Andersen explained.
Though Justin is a big part of the team, basketball is arguably the most demanding of teamwork. His brother Kendall, 12, David Jones, the Nash brothers (Joe, 12. and Jordan, 10), and Marquise Lewis are among those who will be on the team. However, in a year of seniors, it will be the underclassmen that need to step up.
Jordan is a guard who started varsity as a freshman last year and is expected to make an impact this year. “We’ve had good freshman the past couple years and the plan is to have good freshman next year, and the next year,” Andersen said.
In the end, it’s about making it to the state tournament. It is everyone’s goal and anything less is a disappointment. The top 8 teams get to go in and duke it out in a lose or go home situation.
This is where the fans come in. It’s time to cram inside as the weather worsens and support new sports.
While the fans are gearing up for a state football championship, the basketball team will continue to gear up for a season with high expectations.