Coach hopes young Vikings handle quick turnaround tonight

Posted Online: Nov. 28, 2012, 9:31 pm
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By Tom Johnston,
For every young basketball team, there seem to be more challenges looming than normal.

The very young Augustana Vikings will be facing a new obstacle this week as they prepare for tonight's 7:30 nonconference clash with the visiting University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Titans at the Carver Center.

Coach Grey Giovanine and his Vikings will have as little time to prepare for a game as they have had all season, coming off Tuesday's 69-57 victory over UW-Platteville.

"I think the big challenge is the quick turnaround," said Giovanine. "One day of prep and can we get our guys refocused and energized again is the big challenge. It's not so much what are they going to do and what problems do they present, it's dealing with just one day between games.''

Adding even another layer to the preparation dilemma is because of academic schedules, the Vikings will not even have a game-day walk-through. And that will be another new twist for a team featuring eight freshmen. On other game days this season, the Vikings have been able to actually practice, tape and work up a good sweat, according to Giovanine.

Giovanine, though, is hopeful this group continues being effective and efficient in its preparations. The veteran coach already has seen the tremendous attitude and work ethic pay dividends in the form of a 4-0 start.

"We've had some tough environments," said Giovanine of the early season schedule.

One of those was last week when the veteran coach said his team had only Thanksgiving day off. The Vikings beat St. Norbert on Tuesday, not getting back until late and then practicing on Wednesday before scattering for a day. He said Friday's practice went well as did Saturday morning's workout before boarding the bus for the Chicago and a 70-52 victory over the hosting Chicago Maroons.

"We got in good work the day of the Chicago game," said Giovanine. "That's what veteran, high-caliber teams can do. … We talk about 'anyplace, anytime.' You have to be able to focus and concentrate and give good effort in any different environment."

This week's tight turnaround left the Vikings combining two practices into one on Wednesday with both film review of Tuesday's game and the scouting session for Oshkosh. In fact, preps for tonight's game actually started right after Tuesday's victory.

"We talked about it (Tuesday night) before we left the locker room," said Giovanine. "We said, 'We don't have time to celebrate or pat ourselves on the back because we have to come back (Wednesday) and show some real maturity.'"

The coach said that "so far, they have done a good job'' in those unusual circumstances.

He hopes the Vikings can come through again in a less-than-ideal situation.

UW-Oshkosh (1-2) at Augustana (4-0)

Tonight: Augustana hosts Wisconsin-Oshkosh in nonconference men's basketball action at the Carver Center at 7:30. There is no junior-varsity game. Tuning in: This game can be heard on the web at Twitter updates: @TJ_DA.

Starting lineups
F: Dylan Wurtz, 6-4, Jr. (9.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg); C: Andre Wallace, 6-5, Fr. (4.3, 5.7); G: Jade Royston, 6-0, Jr., (16.3, 2.7), Sean Wise, 6-1, Sr., (5.7, 2.3) and Cory Nickel, 6-1, Jr. (8.0, 4.0).

Augustana: F: Tayvian Johnson, 6-6, Fr. (3.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and Ben Ryan, 6-5, Fr. (13.0, 7.3); C: Brandon Kunz, 6-7, Sr. (7.5, 7.0); G: Dan Jurgutis, 6-0, Soph. (14.0, 2.5) and Brandon Thompson, 6-1, Soph. (7.8, 3.3).

The series: This is the seventh meeting between the two schools with Augie winning all six games up to this point. Augie won last year, 80-72, in Oshkosh.

Game notes: UW-Oshkosh is coached by Pat Juckem, who is in his first season at Oshkosh after seven season at Coe College. … The Titans lost their first two games of the season before Tuesday's 64-54 overtime victory over Edgewood. … UW-O is averaging 55.3 points per game and allowing 66.3. Augie is averaging 74.5 points per game and allowing 62.8.

Augie's next game: The Vikings are not in action until hosting cross-river rival St. Ambrose on Wednesday back at the Carver Center at 7:30 p.m. A JV game is tentatively scheduled for 5:15 p.m.

-- By Tom Johnston,


Local events heading

  Today is Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Miss McCorkindale has opened millinery rooms over Gimbel's dry goods store, where she offers a choice lot of millinery goods, which she will manufacture to order.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.

(More History)