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NOHS boys basketball team head coach Rick Rasmussen consoles Mason Thompson after the Titans’ loss in their second summer scrimmage on Thursday. 

COMMERCE—With only a week under his belt on the job as North Oconee High School Rick Rasmussen has begun taking a page out of the Philadelphia 76ers’ book.

The build toward the 2019-2020-basketball season will require a little trust in the ole process.

The Titans hit to floor for the first time with their first new head coach in seven years and after a 53-49 loss to Tallulah Fall and a 44-40 defeat at the hands of Rabun County High School in their first two summer scrimmages, the Titans, admittedly, already have some adjustments to make.

Changes need to come mot only in the way the Titans play defense and offense, but also in the way the players communicate.

Rasmussen is looking for more communication on the court, on the bench and better communication between he and his new players.

Rust on the end of the Titans that have been on the football field crept into some of the mistakes made on Thursday. Additionally, Rasmussen hopes that once the rust is knocked off the Titans become a little tougher in the rebounding department.

“They’re trying to pick things up, but it’s a lot to pick up,” Rasmussen said. “We’re making a lot of silly mistakes from not being used to playing together and part of that is showing up on defense and not communicating. We’ve got to communicate on defense. We’ve got to get tougher on the boards and if you get beat back or if you don’t communicate on defense, you don’t block out and it’s going to be hard to win the game... I think there’s some rust. Our kids that play football have had very little practice and they’re particularly rusty. Our legs were a little tired too. They’re trying and I’m proud of their effort, but we’ve got a long way to go.”

The Titans will play at least 17 more games over the next month just trying to get some familiarity with the new concepts being introduced by a new head coach. There is also some team bonding that will take place for the Titans and for Rasmussen to the Titans.

The Titans have heard the voice of former head coach Dave Gascho for their entire high school careers and throughout middle school camps. Many of the current Titans were in elementary school when Gascho took over the Titans.

Hearing and responding to a different voice as well as coaching philosophy will take time to adjust to for the teenagers that make up the Titans’ roster.

“That’s why we’re doing this,” Rasmussen said. “If we did nothing all summer and then had the late start after football season then we would be in serious trouble. That would not be enough. We have to do this. We will be doing it through the month of June. We need it. We’ve got a long way to go. They’re not used to playing together. Everything is new. I’m brand new and they may be feeling a little overwhelmed with me chewing on them and fussing on them. It may be different. It’s a different voice. It takes some time. I feel like over time they’re going to get it. It’s going to be a process. It’s not going to be overnight.”

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