Preparation is as much a part of high school basketball as the plays called during the games. Previous knowledge of an opponent directly impacts the method of attack.
Going into a game blindly is to take a big risk and puts a team in a precarious position. This week’s The Fifth Quarter takes a look at one’s team approach to being prepared when it comes time for the playoffs. The district 2 3A tournament starts in earnest on Tuesday, which will pit KingCo and Metro teams against one another.
Although there are only two KingCo teams remaining (Liberty and Mount Si lost in the first round on Saturday) and there is great familiarity between the six Metro squads, advance scouting has already been completed.
Most coaches will start scouting in the last couple weeks of the regular season or during league tournaments, but at least one KingCo staff begins much earlier.
“We start looking at Metro teams probably as early as early January if we have opportunities to get our coaches out to games on off nights, or just some of our younger, freshman, sophomore coaches,” Mercer Island coach Gavin Cree said. “We definitely send them out well in advance of this tournament, so we have plenty of film on people. Everybody starts filming now and so people are probably a little bit more careful about their play calls and stuff, but earlier in the season, you can get into some empty gyms and get some calls. We’re definitely ahead of the curve on that front.
“We think it’s huge for us, we use it to our advantage. I don’t know what other teams, but we definitely prepare a lot. Our coaches are ready and know their sets and their plays as much as we can. I think it’s really big. I think personnel is important, too. Just knowing tendencies of players and which guys you can help off and which guys are shooters. We work really hard at it.”