Juan Diego boys basketball boasts of strength and talent
Coach Drew Troust talks to the team during a break in a game. (Juan Diego Catholic High School)
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After losing the state championship last year to Dixie High School, Juan Diego Catholic High School’s boys basketball team is working on getting back up to being the best. Head Coach Drew Troust said the team had its ups and downs at the beginning of the season, but has finally started putting the pieces together, resulting in a good year so far. However, the memory of losing the championship still lingers.
“The default goal whenever you lose in the state championship is to get back there and win the championship. We talked a lot about how I wanted to alleviate a lot of that pressure,” Troust said. “We talked about setting milestones to accomplish before that, whether that’s getting better at a specific thing on defense or winning a certain game on the road. We’re really trying to take it step by step.”
Troust said though it sounds cliché, the team is really focusing on taking it day by day and step by step, rather than obsessing over getting back to the state tournament.
“We’re trying to get better each day and really maximize the talent that we have on the team,” Troust said.
According to Troust, the strengths of the team are talent and size, resulting in one of the best teams he’s coached in his entire career.
“We have good shooting, good size,” Troust said. “Really, it’s about whether we can play consistently and share the ball and a consistent effort on defense.”
Troust believes if the team is able to maximize their talents and work hard each day, they will be in great shape for the tournament.
“There are bad bounces and things you can’t always control, but as long as we’re really getting the most out of what God has given us and the gifts God has given us, that’s really all we can ask,” Troust said.
Eighteen-year-old senior Brennan Fabry credited the coaching philosophy for their winning season of 9-2.
“We have something that our coach instilled in us called the ‘Non-negotiables of Juan Diego Basketball,’ which is defense, effort and attitude,” Fabry said. “If I had to sum up our team, it would be that we play team defense, we have relentless effort and a positive attitude.”
Fabry, who is a center/power forward, said that at the beginning of the season, Troust talked about setting small goals every week throughout the season in order to focus on the build-up to the championship, rather than just the big game itself.
“He doesn’t want us to take big games before the championship for granted and take every game at a time,” Fabry said. “Right now, our goal is to get a good win and to keep moving forward from that. Personally, I want to keep improving and keep making my teammates better.”
Seventeen-year-old senior Eslliey Tan described the team as talented.
“Our offense can be amazing at times,” Tan said. “We can shoot from the outside. We can drive. We can hit it in the post with our big guys. Our defense is a lot better.”
As a team, Tan said the focus is on continuing to get better by doing the little things that help the team overall, with the main goal of winning the state championship.
“As an individual, I want to keep being a better leader and learn how to lead the team to victories, being more aggressive on offense and defense,” Tan said. “Just doing those little things to help our team win.”