Whether he was playing pickup basketball or competitive games growing up, Genoa-Kingston incoming freshman Tommy Lucca never made a mistake without immediate instruction.
Tommy’s older brothers – Adam, Bret and Mason – always were there to correct him when he made a wild pass or took an errant shot.
“I think he didn’t get away with a whole lot,” said Mason, the senior point guard for the Cogs. “If we saw something he should be doing or shouldn’t be doing, we jumped on him about that.”
This year, Tommy will become the fourth Lucca to play for G-K coach Corey Jenkins on the varsity team, and he’s expected to contribute immediately with the ball in his hands.
He’ll join fellow guards Mason Lucca and Eli Thurlby, who is expected to take on more offensive responsibility this season, to help make the Cogs much more formidable than last season’s 11-16 team, which lost in the regional quarterfinals.
Last year, Mason was the Cogs’ only primary ballhandler. If he wasn’t on the floor, Genoa-Kingston’s offense became stagnant.
“We did not pass the ball well [last season],” Jenkins said. “We had one primary ballhandler, and we just had no flow in our offense. Now, it’s coming together. Through the 20-something games we played this summer, we’re pretty pleased with our base offense.”
Through summer camps and tournaments, Jenkins has seen marked improvement with his three-man backcourt and post players to complement them with their pick-and-roll ability.
The impact of the extra guards should also help defensively.
“Now, we can give Mason breathers,” Jenkins said. “With Mason, Tommy and Eli, we can pressure teams full-court all the way up the floor.”
With some of the offensive load taken off of him, Jenkins wants Mason to take over more leadership responsibility.
“He’s kind of a leader by example. Kids see what he does on the floor and they’ll follow him,” Jenkins said. “This coming season, he might have to be more vocal at practice if he feels that we’re dogging it.”
Of course, Tommy already is used to Mason’s vocal leadership.
Even with all of the prodding he’s given his younger brother throughout the years, Mason didn’t realize Tommy would fit in with the Cogs as well as he has this summer.
If they want to improve upon last year’s disappointing season, the Cogs will need Tommy to continue to play above his age level.
“I couldn’t be happier with him. I’ve played with him ever since I was little, so I’ll always have a go-to guy,” Mason said. “I thought he was going to come off a little shy, and not willing to shoot anything, and kind of a little timid, but he came out with his guns blazing.”