The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Kevin Wilson
Editor 

Basketball picks up at ENMU

 

Last updated 10/24/2020 at 2:33pm

Courtesy photo: ENMU Athletics

Greyhound assistant coach Daven Voh works with Tre'vion Crawford during a practice at Greyhound Arena. The team is preparing for a December start to an abbreviated 2020-21 season.

PORTALES - Save a few weeks for a visit to family in Virginia, Garrick Sherrod has largely spent his last few months in Portales even as Eastern New Mexico University went online only for the fall semester.

For the junior guard who aspires to be a college coach, Sherrod said being in the Portales community gives him support and peace of mind as he works on his degree and the game of basketball.

The latter has certainly picked up, with Sherrod and his Greyhound teammates back to work at Greyhound Arena. Wednesday marked the first day of practice under the Brent Owen regime that will officially tip off sometime in December.

Owen, hired in May after Tres Segler left for a non-coaching opportunity, will feel like a college coach for sure when the Greyhounds do tip off sometime in December, but this past week was a pretty good fill-in for now.

"That's when it finally felt like I was a head coach, running a practice," Owen said. "We had really good energy from the guys, they're buying into what we're trying to do."

Owen said getting to see players face-to-face instead of through Zoom meetings has been beneficial, and looking at last year's film doesn't help much because Segler ran things so differently.

"We're installing a completely new offense," Owen said. "Some of the philosophies are pretty hard for the guys to pick up. I can't tell players to just go from Point A to Point B. It's a motion offense. They've got to make cuts and reads on their own. They're a little further ahead than I thought they would be."

Sharrod said it's evident Owen is trying not to overload the players, but he can already see some of the offense's benefits.

"Good coaches put their players in positions to make plays," Sherrod said. "The motion is structured, but you can operate. It's not scripted. You have to read and react. It's harder to scout something when it's not scripted out."

So far, Owen said, the Greyhounds are behind the curve in passing, whether it's a matter of finding the open person, passing when the person is open and delivering the type of pass they're comfortable receiving. A goal for the season, Owen said, is to improve on an "upside down" and Lone Star Conference-worst 0.62 assist to turnover ratio. The LSC's 12 tournament participants ranged between 1.32 (St. Edward's) and 0.72 (Angelo State).

The Greyhounds are under strict COVID-19 guidelines, which don't even allow a scrimmage. A workout pod is limited to five people, and Owen and assistant Daven Voh give instruction as they keep distance.

"We can basically run dry offense," Owen said. "We've done a lot of 2-on-2, working on some screens. We've done some rebounding drills."

One drill, Owen said, has a dummy on the court while three defenders practice help defense against two offensive players.

"This is new to everyone," Sherrod said of the restrictions. "We're adjusting on the fly, but we've got to be thankful we're even allowed in the gym right now. We try not to pout about the situation we have."

When asked about any sense of frustration from the rest of the university community that other student groups aren't being cleared to return to campus, Owen noted the team is pretty much isolated.

"I hope they understand we have some pretty serious regulations through the NCAA we have to abide by," Owen said. "Hopefully, they'll be able to develop some protocols that allow them to get back into the classroom as well."

Coaches declined to discuss the schedule because it's still pending league approval, but Owen did confirm the season opener will also be the LSC opener. The conference has cleared teams to play a 22-game schedule, but 21 of those games are conference matchups and Owen isn't sure they'll use the non-conference slot.

 
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