Timon hoping to turn a corner post-holiday break
When the Bishop Timon-St. Jude Tigers entered the 2013 season, there were high expectations for a team that nearly made it to the Manhattan Cup championship game last season.
However, with injuries and a new head coach who has brought a new playing system, the season has gotten off to a somewhat shaky start.
The team sits at 3-5 at the Christmas break, but have won three of their last five games after starting the season a disappointing 0-3. Timon is working to be more consistent.
“We’re still finding each other and how to play together,” head coach Joe Mihalics said. “That’s where we’re at right now.”
The Christmas break provided the Tigers with a week-and-a-half before they take on Nichols in their next game on Monday, Jan. 7. The extra time, Mihalics said, should have nothing but positive effects on his team.
“With the break here we do have a two week stretch where we will get good practice time in which is going to help,” he said.
One of the players most upset about the team’s slow start has been co-captain Bryant Fulton.
The senior forward believes that while he personally expected that team to get off to a much better start than they have, it’s best to get the cobwebs out early on in the season.
“I think it’s better to get it out now because at the end of the season that’s when the games mostly count because of the league play and the playoffs,” he said. “We just need to get it adjusted.”
Fulton went on to say that this break in between games gives them the biggest opportunity to right the ship due to it being difficult to make major adjustments during games.
“It’s something that has to get done in practice,” he said. “You can’t expect to fix things in the games. Practice makes perfect.”
The major issue both coaches and players alike agreed needs to be fixed is hitting open shots. Mihalics believes hitting more of its open shots will solve many of the team's problems on offense.
“We need to get better at running the break, hitting the open looks, and hitting each other (with a pass) where we can,” said Fulton. “We’ve got to realize each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes we don’t and that screws us up.”
Another benefit to the break is that it will help get players healthy. Junior Donte Williams, who has been one of the Tigers leading scorers, suffered a high ankle sprain during the team’s trip to Chicago two weeks ago. With the large gap in between games, Mihalics plans on getting his injured player back.
“We’ve had a lot of moving parts this year,” said Mihalics about the changes he’s had to make because of injuries. “With this break we will get everyone back, hopefully.”
With Williams out, the team has been counting on senior Demone Harris a lot more to become a major presence on the court. It’s a role that Harris is more than happy to take on.
“I’ll prepare myself to play well, and I’ll be ready for anything,” he said. “I need to step up as a leader now. I’m being counted on to help with the rebounding more and hustle out on the court. I have a job to do.”