Wolverines get a makeover
Truckee High basketball has a new look across the board.
Gone is three-year head coach Keith Crawford, replaced by Steve Ames at the helm and Mark Brady as his assistant.
Departed are the seven veterans who made up last year’s senior core, clearing space for five returning players and six newcomers.
Retired is the old gym, put to rest by the glitzy new home of Truckee basketball.
And, most importantly, ousted is the internal strife that slowly but steadily crushed last year’s playoff hopes.
“We have strong chemistry compared to last season, when there was a lot of controversy,” said Cody Wicks, a 6-foot-3 returning senior.
Pat Galvin, another 6-foot-3 returning senior, echoed Wicks’ sentiment.
“I think right now we’re looking the best we have in a couple years,” Galvin said. “We have coaches that are dedicated to us, so that’s a big change from last year.
“We still have the talent, and I think we’ll get a little closer than we have in the past. If we can come together as a team I think we can go far this year.”
Seven of the 11 players ” 16 originally came out for the team ” were part of a close-knit Truckee football squad. Ryan Roberts, an athletic 6-foot guard and the only returning junior, is one of them. So far, he likes what he sees on the court.
“We’re looking exciting,” Roberts said. “The rust is starting to wear off from football. I think we have a pretty good team. We have pretty good size and better athleticism than most teams.”
Both Roberts and his new coach agree that the Wolverines are stacked with speed and quickness, as well as potentially stifling defensive prowess.
“I think we’ll have a pretty good defense and a lot of speed,” said Ames, a former Truckee football coach who conceded he is still learning the ropes teaching basketball. “We’ll use that to press people.”
While the Wolverines boast an athletic group this year, Ames hopes to improve the team’s on-court presence, or lack thereof from seasons past.
“We haven’t made playoffs in about six years, so whatever we’ve been doing is not working,” he said. “The attitude on the court hasn’t been the best in the past. We’ll try to work on that.”
Also on the list of improvements is team play.
“We have great athletes who are great one-on-one players, but we’re trying to bring back the team concept,” Ames said, adding that he may set up isolation plays on occasion to take advantage of Truckee’s speed on the offensive end.
“We think we can make playoffs if we play the type of basketball we want to play ” and we want to run,” the coach said. “If we can run and gun, I think we can make it work.”