By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– As the summer season wrapped up for the North Salem Boys Basketball team, the summer has given the Vikings an opportunity to know their new head coach in Cameron McCormick.
“I think this Summer has been very important to give the team an idea of the brand of basketball we want to play along with some opportunities to get to know me,” said McCormick. “As much as I want the team to catch on to our new principles on defense and offense, I want a bond to form well before November; in hopes they don’t feel like a stranger is coming in for try-outs.
“The same can be said on my end, I want to know who the majority of our athletes are prior to seeing them at try-outs.”
This team, who are looking to bounce back after a 1-22 season in 2015, closed out the summer season with a strong performances against Dallas and Sliverton.
North was pushing tempo and commanded the game from the opening tip; especially against the Foxes of Sliverton.
“I really liked our tempo against Silverton,” McCormick said on that finale. “At this point, we do not have any sophisticated offense put in, so one of our best options to score is through transition. As far as the transition game being a part of our identity, we will look to push when the opportunity presents itself; I believe our identity will be defined by our effort and energy we give on a nightly basis.
“Our full court defense will be important throughout next season in order to keep our guys engaged. It will be an easy measuring stick of how much effort we are putting forward as well as when guys need breaks because of fatigue.”
This high tempo performances look similar to that of what some of the Greater Valley Conference teams run during the 2015-2016 season; and though it took a while for the Vikings to carve in a groove, they found a groove.
And McCormick liked how this team stepped up to the challenge and improved during the summer league.
“I feel like the biggest improvement through the summer league happened in the form of our chemistry,” he said. “We had a wide eclectic of guys with sophomores, juniors, and seniors; all sharing minutes and filling roles that might have been new to them.
“There were a lot of clarifying questions from them at the beginning stages but as time went on, they would simply take care of their responsibilities I was asking them to.”
As they look to carry this momentum over to November, with open gyms, workouts and constant communication with those from summer ball between now and when try-outs start; McCormick is confident with what is to come.
“I think the best way we can keep the momentum going into next November is constant communication throughout the Summer,” he said. “I will be in contact with all players that have expressed interest in playing next year. Along with that, our coaching staff will meet periodically through the off season in hopes to stay on the same page going into next season.”
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