Fairfield Prep boys basketball exceeding expectations
Given the turbulence of the Fairfield Prep boys basketball team's offseason, opening the season with one win in its first three game would be remarkable.
However, the Jesuits have exceeded expectations thus far through four games. The Jesuits are 4-0 coming off a 63-60 win over Xavier on Thursday night.
"They've been working hard," Prep coach Leo Redgate said.
Redgate, the first-year, rookie coach, is most proud of his team for the effort that it has shown thus far and the ability to grind out victories, especially on the road, where the team has won twice. He cited the team's 65-61 win over Amity on Tuesday night as an example of its ability to finish the game.
"You've got to work so hard to win games in the SCC, especially on the road," Redgate said. "The games that we're in, we have to do our best to
The senior leadership of Robbie Bier has been evident for the Jesuits, as he's led the team in not just scoring, but on the defensive end as well, specifically in Prep's game with Branford on Dec. 17.
"We put him on their best player and he rose to the occasion and shut him down," Redgate said of Bier.
Bier has been supported nicely by fellow senior Matt Daley, who scored in double figures in each of Prep's first three games. Junior Terry Tarpey also has provided the Jesuits scoring as Prep averaged 67 points per game in its first three games.
"What I like most is that they're unselfish," Redgate said. "They have enough faith in me that if they accomplish certain things, and fill certain roles, they'll surprise some people with the outcomes."
Redgate has emphasized conditioning, and more specifically that the team works out three or four times a week to get into better basketball shape. This commitment to conditioning has helped Prep play complete games, and should serve the Jesuits well as the grind of a long season goes on.
"We have mentally and physically tough kids," Redgate said. "I don't think we would have won the games we have if we weren't in good shape."
The rookie coach has also promoted a belief system that his team can win every game in the loaded SCC. Thus far his squad has bought in, and he hopes that that continues.
"It is my job to get these kids to believe that they can compete in every game we play," Redgate said. "And they really believe that they should be in every game."
Prep will host the Alumni Holiday Classic, and will be one of three teams entering the tournament with a winning record. Redgate is pleased to see the teams in the town playing so well, and has called this "the best tournament we've had in 10 years."
Notre Dame is undefeated, and coming off a dominant 72-57 win over Kolbe Cathedral. Warde has won two straight games, and Ludlowe beat defending Class LL champion Bridgeport Central a week ago.
"We have four teams representing the town very well," Redgate said.