Boys’ Basketball: Coach Naas and seniors step up game

December 7, 2010 — by Karthik Annaamalai and Roy Bisht

”Team unity!” bellowed boys’ basketball coach Trevor Naas as members of his team passed the ball to each other during an afternoon practice in the gym, working their way toward the hoop. “It’s all about team unity, and that’s how we’re going to play!”

Team unity is certainly the new motto of the Falcons boys’ basketball team, who, after a 9-15 season last season, decided they needed to improve on their team chemistry. In order to do so, Naas has begun to greatly encourage teamwork and the five seniors on the team have stepped up to fill leadership roles.

“[Seniors] Jasneil Nat and Alex Chan have really stepped up for us,” said senior point guard Tyler Jew. “They have set our goal to win league.”

In order to win league, the Falcons have resorted to basketball fundamentals—playing hard, executing plays, recovering loose balls, and always hustling.

“Coach Naas has really inspired the team to play basic basketball in a successful manner,” said sophomore center Stevie Berman. “He says that if the starters play hard, and if the bench is ready to step up and play, then we’ll be a very strong team.”

Even though they have played for coach Naas for all four years, the seniors are still learning new ways to play the game.

“We’ve been playing for him for a few years,” said Jew. “But even as seniors, we’re still working to play better as a team.”

The starting five consists of Chan, sophomore guard Kyle Dozier, senior forward Chris Guengerich, and Berman, all returning varsity players.

The seniors, however, are not the only players that Naas has influenced with his style of coaching. Junior center James Huang finds the approach this year much more encouraging than in past years.

“Last year there was some doubt in ourselves before each game,” said Huang, “but now we expect to win every game.”

On Dec. 2, the Falcons narrowly lost in double overtime 84-82 to South San Francisco. Guengerich played an integral role in the Falcons’ offense as he put up a game-leading 33 points.

The team’s confidence was very clear in their first game of the season on Nov. 30, where they burned Live Oak 61-32. Nat and Dozier led the offense with 12 points each, with Guengerich adding 10 points as well.

“We played well cause we jumped off to a really quick start,” said Huang. “Coach Naas has really emphasized playing well throughout the whole game, and the seniors really pumped us up beforehand, so I think those were contributing factors to how well we played.”

The Falcons will test their team chemistry next on Dec. 7-10 at the Los Gatos Tournament.