Pittman pleased with workouts

Published 9:30 am Thursday, July 7, 2022

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

To Josh Pittman, coaching during a game is not about shouting and throwing or kicking things. He knows how to get his point across without any of that stuff.

“It’s always going to be positive during the game,” the new Davie varsity boys basketball coach said. “I might get on you in the locker room, but when I’m talking to you, it’s going to always be positive. I might have to yell once or twice, but at the end of the day, I’m going to explain to you why I’m telling you what I’m telling you. To me that’s coaching.”

Pittman was hired as Davie’s coach May 26. Things really started for his new program June 15. That’s when his War Eagles played in a jamboree at High Point Andrews. They went 1-2, but the record really didn’t matter to Pittman.

“That was really the first time we’ve gotten together as a group,” he said. “We only had seven of the guys with us and I wasn’t really concerned about wins and losses – I just wanted to see how we looked and how we played because we’ve got a lot of younger guys playing.”

The War Eagles had workouts at Davie on June 20, 22 and 23, and so far it’s been everything Pittman had hoped for and more.

“We’ve had anywhere from 15-25 kids at every workout,” he said. “At Winston-Salem Prep and at Lexington (two of his previous coaching stops), I would have five or six kids. To have 15-25 bodies in the gym getting in good work, I can’t ask for more.

“I’ve been focussing on skill development, and we’ve been in the weight room and working on our handling from all positions. We’ve been working out an hour and a half to two hours three times a week. Dribble moves. Then we’re throwing in weights and jump rope and air squats and push-ups and defensive work. Jackson Powers has probably dropped 10 pounds.

“I love the group. All of them work hard. They’re all yes-sir, no-sir kids. They listen. They take information well. They seem to be very respectful and dialed in at what we’re tying to do. I’m impressed.”

To the rest of the Central Piedmont Conference, the War Eagles might look like yesterday’s news when the 2022-23 season approaches. That would be perfectly fine with Pittman, who is trying to create a dark horse.

“I think we’re going to surprise some people,” he said. “I think we’re going to be very competitive. No matter what, I think this year will be a good learning experience for us. We have a lot of youth, but I think we’ll step up to the challenge. As the season goes and we settle down, I think we’ll be alright and pretty competitive by the time conference rolls around.”

While varsity experience could be an issue, Pittman does not think size will be a problem.

“I think we have the size to match up with pretty much anybody in the conference – with Jackson, Ian (Koontz), Cam (Wall),” he said. “We’ve got five bigs. So I honestly think size-wise we match up with anybody. Not saying they’ll start, but the first group we had out there today had Coleman (Lawhon) playing the point and Coleman is 6-1 or 6-2. We had Hayden Williams playing shooting guard and he’s about 6-foot. Ethan (Ratledge) was at the 3 and he’s 6-4. Ian was at the 4 and he’s about 6-4. Jackson is 6-5 or 6-6. We had Cam and another kid coming off the bench and both of them are about 6-5 or 6-6.”

Pittman’s Winston-Salem Prep squad went 25-3 last winter, and one of his Prep assistants is now with him at Davie – Will Tibbs, Jr., who is 6-7. It’s a towering coaching staff; Pittman is 6-6.

“(Tibbs) went to Winston-Salem Prep and he won four state championships there,” Pittman said. “He played college ball at Fayetteville State. This past year was his first year on the staff with me. I like what he brings. He’s young (26) and he brings a bunch of energy. He normally works with the bigs. He’s a younger guy the kids can relate to. I love having him around. He’s positive energy.”

Kevin Revels, who assisted Mike Absher and Bruce Wallace in recent years, has two young daughters and will not return to the Davie staff. The rest of the staff will look familiar.

“Tracey (Arnold) will do JV,” Pittman said. “Freshman coach will stay the same (with Mike Dinkins). Coach (Shane) Nixon will be helping out with varsity.”

When Pittman and Arnold met for the first time a few weeks ago, they immediately clicked.

“Tracey said: ‘I’ll run whatever you want me to run,’” Pittman said. “He’s been absorbing what we’ve been doing in practice. I told him: ‘I still want you to do your thing because that’s part of being a head coach.’ I think he’s a great guy and I love having him on. It’s been a pleasure the past two weeks.”