At a time when some teams have focused on baseball and others have looked ahead to football, Brusly head basketball coach Harold Boudreaux led his players into preparations for what lies ahead in fall and winter.
From what he saw in the summer drills that concluded last week, Boudreaux is happy.
“We’re making good progress,” said Boudreaux, who will begin his sixth year as Panther head coach. “Our kids are a little older now, they know what to expect and they know what I expect.”
The Panthers played in league scrimmages during the summer, wrapping up the season against Tara and McKinley.
Boudreaux said he believes the same elements are in place that built his team over the last several years.
“Sometimes you can have a team with no identity, but ours has always been defense – and we can’t have an off-night on that,” he said. “Our kids have bought into that the last few years.
“We have to be strong with whatever we do, regardless if it’s defense, knocking down the jumpshot or trapping,” Boudreaux said.
He said he’s seeing improvements across the board in the program.
“Our biggest improvement was team chemistry, everyone knows what they have to do,” Boudreaux said. “I didn’t see chemistry last year until late November.
“So far, the kids are believing in themselves, doing what it takes to make things happen,” he said.
Boudreaux sees one major difference in this team as opposed to the others he’s led at BHS. He’s seeing more players commit exclusively to basketball rather than training for multiple sports, a trend that has followed throughout the high school spectrum.
“Most of our kids are 100 percent basketball and not trying to be something else,” Boudreaux said. “I looked at the team the other day, and nine of the top 10 players right now are ready to go with basketball. It’s the first time it’s ever been that big at Brusly.
Key players during the summer drills include incoming junior Michael Bryant, who could see some much bigger things in his future, according to Boudreaux.
“He’s getting more mature and he’s getting his name out and gaining a lot of confidence,” he said. “He’s getting looks on the national level.”
Boudreaux also gave high marks to incoming senior Shawn Freeman – whom he considers one of the leaders – and incoming sophomore Jason Holiday, who has also gained a lot of momentum during the summer drills.
The program may also see a huge boost from Scotlandville transfer Darian Jones, a 6’5” forward.
“He’s going to come in and do some good things,” Boudreaux said.