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In HS sports, coaches are always looking for the advantage they can exploit against an opponent.

This season brings a curious newcomer to the world of "X's and O's"....the "COVID advantage." 

OK, I've yet to hear a coach refer to such a thing....but does it exist?

There are teams out there with 10-12 games under their belts already - then there are some great teams that have yet to play their first game (see: Male, Ballard, Fern Creek for example).

How much is that "game deficit" going to hinder a talented squad like Male?   Could it be that Male, Ballard, and Fern Creek - all ranked in the top 5 in nearly every poll I've seen - be at such a disadvantage that they really shouldn't be favored when it comes time to throw the ball into play in Rupp??   Or will they get enough games in - it looks like the Jefferson County schools will get in maybe a dozen regular season games, total - that their talent will rise to the top and prove their place in the polls?   Will it prove just a teaser, a horrible tease that makes the long shots think they have a chance, when in fact, the Males / Ballards / Fern Creeks of the world simply will have so much roster talent that they won't be denied????

Thoughts?

🤔 🙄 😕

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They could be fresher come tourney time since played less games. I think they will have enough games to work out kinks by tourney time also. Overall, I don’t see disadvantage of getting late start.

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I think talent overcomes game experience in most situations, especially if they get 10-12 games under their belt. Most of the high-level JCPS kids played enough ball in AAU and other leagues throughout the summer and early fall to stay sharp. There have also been outlets for them to workout while shutdown. That said, if CAL is playing their 15th game against a JCPS school playing their 2nd, I’ll take CAL if the talent is equal. 
 

I’m a little more concerned about the injury risk over the balance of the season: cramming 4 games in a week, limited time for preseason conditioning, frequent stops/starts for quarantines, etc. 

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The disadvantage of the late start could rear it's ugly head if any of those schools have to deal with cancellations. That will make an already short season that much shorter and not a lot of time to reschedule and get those games in. I’m hearing that schools playing now are considering playing no games the week before districts start to prevent any more cancellations. That could also play into the Jefferson County schools season being even shorter. Let us all do our part to keep the kids, coaches, staffs, referees, and fans as safe as we can and get through this challenging season together!!

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I don’t know that a blanket statement could be applied here regarding this situation as there is so much to consider regarding talent etc..., but I do believe that there’s something to be said for teams gaining invaluable experience and developing team chemistry that having played a decent amount of games can help get the kinks out. 

A team that hasn’t played many games doesn't have the privilege of really gelling as a team as opposed to the ones who have. But of course no amount of experience that the Little Sisters of the Poor gain in playing a lot of games will help them beat teams like Male or Ballard, but I believe that a well oiled team like say St. Henry for example who has played a decent amount of games could possibly compete adequately enough with the likes of a Male or Ballard, and I’d go as far as saying they could possibly beat them giving some credence to this idea of the "COVID advantage".

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I think the delay in starting for teams like Male and Ballard is more likely to be an advantage rather than a disadvantage.  They will get in plenty of games, including games in the LIT scheduled for the first week of March.  Their legs will be fresher, which should be a plus in the state tournament.

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