Tigers building chemistry on the hardwoodLike many varsity coaches, Farmington basketball coach Shane Wyandt subscribes to the belief that year-round training is the key to building a strong program.
By: Matt Steichen, The Farmington Independent
Like many varsity coaches, Farmington basketball coach Shane Wyandt subscribes to the belief that year-round training is the key to building a strong program.
That's why his Tiger basketball players spent the summer competing at various tournaments throughout the metro area. The team competed in a couple of MYAS tournaments this spring, then traveled to St. Paul for the Minnesota Shootout and the Star of the North Games in June before playing in the Prep Showcase at Lakeville South High School last month.
The slate of summer tournaments wrapped up with a strong showing at the Minnesota Invitational Tournament at St. Cloud July 26-27. Despite the absence of all-conference performer Jake Lippert due to an injury, the Tigers won four of six games and finished fifth out of 11 teams in the North Regional and third out of five teams in Division V.
The Tigers opened with a 38-31 victory over Foley, then dropped a 63-50 contest to a Robbinsdale-Cooper team that played in the state tournament last spring. Wyandt's squad bounced back by using balanced scoring attacks to crush Rockford, 76-29, and St. Agnes, 70-29. On Sunday, the Tigers came out flat in an opening 68-54 loss to Woodbury before wrapping up the tournament with a 58-54 victory over Rochester Lourdes.
Wyandt's off-season time with his team was wrapped up Aug. 1, but the Tigers will continue to prepare for the winter season by playing a couple of games a week in a fall league at Bloomington Kennedy. Wyandt said it's important to have the entire team playing together and building chemistry, rather than just a couple of players
"It's very common for good individual players to keep playing on AAU teams and stuff like that. I'm also a big believer that the team needs to play together, too," he said. "It's kind of a necessary thing if you're going to get your program competing at the highest level."
The Tigers coupled their summer tournament schedule with what has come to be known as Basketball Academy. Four mornings a week throughout the summer, players got together to work on basketball drills and lift weights.
Wyandt and his Tigers hope all the off-season work will help them improve on last year's record of 13-14. The regular season gets under way Dec. 5 with a non-conference game against Rochester John Marshall at Tiger Gym.