Purdy Eagles focused 
on player 
development

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
For the last few years, Purdy high School has been spoiled with great talent like Alex Mareth. This season, it is back to basics. Jared Lankford/sports@cassville-democrat.com

Summer dedicated to defining roles, fundamentals

While most area basketball teams have spent the summer attending shootouts and leagues, not all took that traditional route.

The Purdy Eagles went back to the drawing board and took a page out of the coach Norman Dale's Hickory Husker page -- focus on the fundamentals.

The Purdy eagles will be seeking to replace the leadership of several seniors, including Andrew McCormick. Jared Lankford/sports@cassville-democrat.com

"We chose not to participate in the summer leagues because we needed more time for player development," said Tommy Eagan, Purdy coach. "As a team, we have to improve in every facet of the game: passing, rebounding and shooting."

A major cause of the Eagles' problem isn't participation numbers, but graduation.

Purdy has become a victim of its own success, losing several quality players to graduation. With younger players now taking the reigns, starting varsity experience is at a premium.

"We have worked hard to help the kids develop, understand and then fulfill their roles," Egan said. "We have some good pieces. We need our shooters to understand that they need to shoot, our defenders to defend and those that excel in rebounding to do the dirty work underneath the hoop."

Another change that Egan instituted this summer was more weight room work for his players.

"We have hit the weight room harder than we ever have since I have been here," he said. "I look for that trend to continue once school starts. We need to get stronger and tougher on the floor."

Robby Moody and Brayden Jones are the Eagles only returning seniors and Egan is counting on them to be leaders.

Jonatan Salazar, a junior, will be another key for black and gold success.

"He is a gym rat," Egan said. "He is an explosive players and a scoring threat."

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