Darian Garrett was selected as The Daily Home Player of the Week after leading Sylacauga High School’s boys basketball team to a 3-0 record last week.
“I am really excited,” Garrett said. “This season, I started out slow, but I had to work hard at practice to get myself back going. I would like to thank my teammates and my coaches. I would like to thank my teammate Malik Powell for encouraging me. He pushes me hard in practice when we do one-on-one drills. (Sylacauga head) coach (Will) Copeland and Coach (Joel) Jones work us hard by running us up and down the court for conditioning. They stay on us a lot.”
Garrett averaged 17.5 points per game in three wins last week for the Aggies, including a 24-point performance against Ben Russell. The senior sharpshooter hit five 3-pointers in the first quarter against the Wildcats.
“Before the game started, Coach Copeland told me that I was going to have to shoot the ball more tonight,” Garrett said. “He told me when they go to their 2-3 zone not to pass the ball a lot. He told me to just to get a good look and leave my hand up. That’s what I did and I caught fire. I hit three in a row. My teammates kept feeding me the ball, and Coach Copeland told me to keep shooting it.”
Copeland said was pleased with the way that Garrett played against Ben Russell. The Aggies head man said he would like to see Garrett perform at that level consistently.
“He got hot against Ben Russell,” Copeland said. “He stepped up and made shots. He is a good shooter. He had a really good game. Darian needs to work on being consistent in everything that he does. He has to work on being more consistent with his shots and consistent with his play. Whether it is practice or games, he has to work on being more consistent. He has been a really good player for us, and he has the potential to be really good for us down the stretch.”
Copeland said he needs his senior guard to play with more confidence when he is shooting the ball if they are going to achieve goals this season.
“He is making shots. We have guys on the inside that can score,” Copeland said. “When he is consistent with shooting from the outside it really helps us. He gives us an outside threat. We lost two of our threats from last year with Jasade Smith and Khalil Pope. Darian has to work on being consistent and he has to have the confidence whether in practice or the game. He is a really good shooter. If he misses one, he has to have the confidence that he is going to make the next shot.”
The No. 8 ranked Sylacauga squad is currently on a six-game winning streak leading up to Friday’s matchup at rival No. 7 Talladega.
Garrett and the Aggies have several goals that they want to accomplish this season, but their ultimate goal is getting back to Birmingham and winning the Class 5A state championship.
“Our goal is to get back to the Final Four, “Garrett said. “We have some unfinished business to take care of. We have to get back to the area championship, we have to get to ASU and win those two games. We need to get back to the Final Four. We are going to try to win the ring this year.”
Garrett said he tries to model his game after Washington Wizards point guard John Wall.
“I like the way he plays,” he said. “I like his attitude. He is a good leader, and I try to be a good leader on the floor. When the team is down, John Wall gets the team going. When the team is down, I like to get the team going.”