Corner Brook Regional High Titans senior boys basketball team hopefuls Brady Cook, left, and Thomas Byrne participate in a drill while coach Frank Foo watches at the high school gymnasium on Wednesday night. — Star photo by Chris Quigley
CORNER BROOK Frank Foo will attempt to implement a different offensive scheme for the Corner Brook Regional High Titans senior boys basketball team this year.
He really doesn’t have much choice.
Build on speed and finesse from the backcourt the past couple of seasons, the Titans are in the midst of a massive roster turnover, with only two players from last season eligible to return.
The team held its first tryout Wednesday night at the high school gymnasium and, judging from what he saw out on the court, Foo believes the latest edition of the Titans will be built much differently.
“It looks like we’ll have a fairly tall team this year,” he observed during the tryout. “It’s very different when you’ve got some six-five, six-four or six-three guys ... the frontcourt will be bigger, so we will have to do something very different this year offensively.”
A dream season turned into a nightmare last year as the Titans plowed their way through every tournament, every game they played — until the last one, when they fell in the 4A provincial championship game for the second year in a row.
“It’s tough to lose only one game, especially the last game of the year, but ... that’s sports,” Foo said. “Anything can happen, no matter where you’re ranked. We were ranked No. 1 all year.”
The majority of this year’s roster won’t have that memory to motivate them personally, but the two players eligible to return — third-year forwards Daniel Humber and Graham Kenny — would likely preach to their new teammates to never take anything for granted.
In fact, it will be an early lesson for them as well, as Foo said neither player is a lock to make the roster, despite their previous experience. Though they’re, at the very least, probable to make the final cut, Foo doesn’t want anyone coming in armed with a sense of entitlement.
“They have to try out,” he said. “Nothing is guaranteed.”
Without actually having the team put together at this point, Foo still feels the pieces are in place for a top-four team provincially. He’s aware of a couple of strong teams out east this year, but there doesn’t appear to be a world-beater among the usual suspects.
“I feel we can be in the top four,” he said. “We’ll see how things go.”
He’ll have plenty of time for that, as he is in no hurry to make a final cut to the roster. He may whittle it down to 18 over the next few tryouts, but doesn’t plan on selecting the final 12 for at least two weeks.
“We want to give the kids a chance and give them more opportunity to play basketball,” he said.
The next tryout is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday, with another going 10 a.m. Saturday, both at the high school gymnasium.