New coach sees progress from Owls

First-year coach Tyler Phillips has seen progress from the Seymour boys’ basketball team.

“The first week I like what I’ve seen,” he said following the scrimmage at the jamboree in the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium Saturday night.

Seymour boys, third-graders through varsity players, participated in the jamboree.

“They come together and they’re really get after it in practice. You can tell they’re a group that’s hungry,” Phillips said. “They want to have some success in basketball. We’re going to try and carry over what football did.”

Returning basketball starters Alan Perry and Tiller Cummings, plus other members of the team helped the football team post a record of 8-4. They lost to East Central on Nov. 4 in the sectional championship game.

Phillips is in his first season coaching the Owls after coaching South Spencer the past two years.

“They come into work every day, and they do everything we ask them,” Phillips said. “They’re jelling well. They’re a lot further along, after four practices, than I ever thought they would be.”

He said he plans on utilizing his players’ strengths and make opponents make adjustments.

“My philosophy has always been take the first great shot we can get,” Phillips said. “I’m not a guy that has to have four passes, and we’ve got to run this or that off the clock.”

Philips said Seymour fans can expect to see the team play a lot of man defense.

“I like to mix it up, but our base will be a man,” he siad. “We’re a man-to-man team. We’re going to try to get after it.

“We’re not going to change based on what they do, we’re going to make people change based on what we do. We’re going to play some man-to-man with some gap defense.”

The Owls will host Greenwood for a scrimmage at 11 a.m. Saturday. They will open their season Nov. 22 at Corydon Central, and their home opener will be Dec. 3 against Franklin.

“We got some base stuff in this week,” Phillips said. “We’ll try to continue to clean it up, get more familiar with it, and try to get my football guys some legs. Greenwood is just a glorified practice. We’re worried about Corydon.

“We’ll approach it from that standpoint and we’ll go into it with things we want to see, and we want to get better at. We’ll see what happens and we’ll go from there.”

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Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.