COVINGTON - The Alcovy boys basketball program finished its summer workouts with a lot of confidence and potential players for the upcoming season.
"We allow any eligible Alcovy student to participate in our summer activities, so we had a lot of kids who were not members of the program trying to make a name for themselves," Alcovy coach Eugene Brown said. "Consequently, we identified a few excellent players that we were not aware of."
Some of the retuning players making a good impression on the coaching staff included rising sophomore Devon Edwards and seniors Gary Wilkins, Jeffrey Freeman and Tavon Cook.
Eric Littmann, who was not on the team last year, also made some heads turn.
"Another guy that really impressed us was Faraad Armwood. He shot the lights out. From anywhere on the floor, he would stop and pull up. There were a couple of games over the summer he had over 20-25 points in running clock games. There were very little fouls called with a lot of physical play," Brown said. "He hit three last-second shots to win games on plays designed for him."
The Tigers finished above the .500 mark during their camps at Berry College and Clayton State University. They also competed in shootouts at Jasper County and Henry County as well as scrimmages against Southwest DeKalb and Redan.
"The outcome of our efforts were very encouraging throughout the 28 games," Brown said. "Some strong scoring threats have emerged with increased playing time as well as exceptional ball-handlers. Our execution on both ends was excellent primarily due to our senior leadership."
As the Tigers head into their fourth year as a program, Brown expects to have at least eight seniors on a team where many of them started out as freshman.
While the main objective of this year's summer program was to find a wing/post player to complement their versatile guard play, Brown is thinking about revamping his scheme to one that will be a better fit for the type of players he plans on having next season.
"Our system is designed around the players; you can't fit players into a system. We have to move the system around to see where they can do well," he said. "We're probably going to run four guards. We're going to have a lot of guys that can handle the ball and shoot."
Brown feels that having four guards on the floor will help the Tigers better handle zone defenses.
"During the summer, we also try to determine the style of play for the upcoming season which best fits the strengths of our potential players," Brown said. "Defense is our calling card, but we will be more flexible and explosive offensively. The guys did an excellent job and again showed a high level of commitment. They played hard and competed at every opportunity."
Manny Fils can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.