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Green Wave basketball ready for Fall campaign

June 27, 2011

The West Point High School boys basketball team wrapped up another solid camp last week at Itawamba Community College.

With three teams in the field, the Green Wave had plenty of chances to showcase their talents on the floor against some of the top teams in the region including Okolona, Tupelo, Hamilton and Shannon.

“We had a really exciting camp this year,” said ICC head men's basketball coach Marty Cooper. “There were a lot of great games and some surprising upsets, but overall it was a very competitive and fun brand of basketball to watch.” Tupelo would go on to defeat Shannon 57-40 in the finals.

"We played okay. There are some things we needed to work on," second year head coach Brad Cox said Monday. "Like not taking plays off and just make sure everybody is putting the same effort on defense and rebounding."

Cox, who is in his fourth season overall at West Point, says he was pleased with the overall performance over the last few weeks and glad to get some of the athletes back into basketball shape.

"The summer gives us a chance to get those 9th and 10th graders, some of the guys that didn't play a whole lot during the season some game experience," he said. "You hear basketball IQ talked about on the television all the time, but the only way your going to get that is to play games."

This summer, the Green Wave have tried to hit the floor as often as they could and playing some tough teams along the way; Noxubee, Louisville and Nettleton to name a few. With such a long window of absence from season to season, Cox says practice can only do so much when it comes to getting the boys ready for a grueling winter campaign.

"The seasons doesn't start until November," he said. "That's a long to time to go just practicing. The more games you can play, the better because you get in the routine of practicing and it's good to play some other teams. Sometimes you can't see what you need to work on, until you start playing other teams."

One of the biggest problems for West Point Cox says is that there are times throughout the games where players might not be 100 percent focused on the task at hand; one might be lost on the offense possession and then another not get back and play defense.

"I'm just trying to get everybody to play every possession like it means something," Cox said. "We have to get that killer instanct. We have to try and put teams away and not let them hang around." Offesnsivley, Cox says he wants the team to be more open to sharing the ball often.

"Learning how to run the offense comes with time, that's why these summer games are so important." he said.

West Point returns six seniors this season from a team that finished 13-14 with a 4-2 district mark last year led by Cortez Malone, who Coz described as someone who can just do a little bit of everything on the floor and probably the team's best defensive player.

6'8 Tyrone Saverson returns for another campaign at the post after playing high school ball for the first time his junior season. Cox says he has greatly improved over the summer and is one they will depend on a lot. The Green Wave will no doubt have their share of big men to battle with this fall.

Sophomore point guard AJ Jones also had an impressive camp and looks to improve on a successful freshman season.

The Green Wave will be back on the court Tuesday against Vardaman and then Thursday versus Nettleton.

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