Summer workouts are becoming more prevalent with the new offseason rules governed by the IHSA.
Teams will meet for workouts, team related activities and camps to keep their teams sharp throughout the offseason.
The Sycamore’s boys basketball team graduated 10 seniors from last year’s team, which was one win away from a sectional title.
Numbers like this make the offseason workouts more important to incorporate players that may be inexperienced on the court.
Contact days are limited to 25 during the offseason, which forces Spartans coach Andrew Stacy to get creative with his offseason plan.
So far this offseason, the team has played in the Geneva summer league, where according to Stacy the Spartans have played more than 39 games.
In addition to the games at the summer league, there are plans to hold other camps and participate in several different shootouts for the rest of the summer.
The creativity lies in how the team divides up the workouts in these 25 days.
“The way contact days work is it can be as simple as one guy comes in and shoots, or make it an all day event.” Stacy said. “There are days where we’ve had workouts in the morning and played games at night, but it only counts as one day if we do it that way.”
Last season Sycamore was incredibly successful (a share of the Northern Illinois Big 12 East title), but had to graduate almost the entire roster, including Daily Chronicle Player of the Year Devin Mottet, which gives Stacy a new challenge going into 2014-15.
With the former players gone, new players are forced to step up and give the team a boost, so Sycamore can return to the sectional final and potentially go further in the IHSA tournament. In order for that to happen, participation in the summer workouts is extremely important for the team. So far the players have responded, and used these contact days to their advantage.
“Participation is never going to be 100 percent,” Stacy said. “With the amount of athletes that are in multiple sports, and it being the summer there will be vacations and things of that nature, but so far our guys have done a good job of getting in and getting a lot of shots up.”
As opposed to last season where the team had 10 seniors that played the majority of the team’s minutes, this year the team has a lot of youth looking to make their mark on the team.
In order to do that, it begins with stepping up in the summer. Two particular players who have done that – Brett Bemis and Max Miller, did get some time on the varsity team a season ago.
“Those are two guys who have gotten some minutes for us in the past, and they among others have really stepped up this offseason,” Stacy said. “It’s a new challenge this year, but one that we as a program really look forward to.”