Katy High School, Tigers, Texas high school boys basketball, Dayvaughn Froe, Aydan Perdue, Katy ISD

Youngsters Froe, Perdue key for Katy

By DENNIS SILVA II, Times Sports Editor
Posted 12/30/19

Dayvaughn Froe knows what it’s like to be a freshman basketball player on varsity at Katy High. He knows how hard it is to grasp the intricacies of a playbook predicated more upon reads than simple plug-and-play. He knows what it’s like to earn a spot and, perhaps just as important, how to keep it.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in
Katy High School, Tigers, Texas high school boys basketball, Dayvaughn Froe, Aydan Perdue, Katy ISD

Youngsters Froe, Perdue key for Katy

Posted

Dayvaughn Froe knows what it’s like to be a freshman basketball player on varsity at Katy High. He knows how hard it is to grasp the intricacies of a playbook predicated more upon reads than simple plug-and-play. He knows what it’s like to earn a spot and, perhaps just as important, how to keep it.

So, when the now-sophomore point guard looks around at practice or during games and sees freshman post Aydan Perdue holding his own, Froe can respect that more than most.

He’s been there, done that. And it’s not easy.

“I was a freshman on varsity last year, and I know, for me, the coaches having enough confidence to have me on varsity was big,” Froe said. “I competed like I belonged. I think that’s the same thing with Aydan.”

While the coaches’ confidence in him was significant, Froe admitted his own was low. His emotions ran too high or too low, based on his play. He was desperate to prove himself.

It’s the same thing Perdue finds himself doing now.

“My mindset is to work hard and prove myself every night,” Perdue said. “I don’t want to just be out there and not be a factor. I want to show I can contribute.”

Froe is now a team leader, even as an underclassman. Perdue is an up-and-coming talent.

Together they have made an impact, and that was never more evident than during Katy’s 65-51 win over Kempner on Dec. 20.

Froe had 13 points, five rebounds and three assists. Perdue, coming off the bench, had nine points and 11 rebounds.

Froe is now a trusted floor leader after playing more of a catch-and-shoot role last season. That was by design.

“He’s probably more comfortable and natural playing the position he is now than last year,” coach Danny Russell said. “He was a freshman having to step in and play varsity, which is a lot. It’s a lot they’ve got to be able to learn and do. So, it was more us simply putting him in a position to be successful last year rather than having him grow into a role.”

Froe worked on ballhandling over the summer. He put on some muscle. He is getting to the rim more, and he worked to boost his confidence.

“I knew, last summer, I was going to have to be more of a leader and do more for this team,” Froe said. “I prepared myself mentally to handle that. I came into this year more confident in knowing I could do what I needed to help this team.”

Russell has been impressed.

“He’s doing a really good job,” the coach said. “The last four or five games, he’s balancing being aggressive looking for his own shot versus facilitating for others. That’s the defining factor when you look at great point guards, being able to understand when to get other guys involved and how, and when, to take your own opportunities.”

Perdue had a feeling last summer that he’d be on varsity. He worked out with those players instead of the freshmen.

All fall, Russell evaluated the 6-foot-3 Perdue. It’s a thoughtful, lengthy process. Russell could not hide the fact that the Tigers’ varsity not only had room for Perdue, but it needed him.

“It went from ‘Can he do this?’ to ‘We need him,’” Russell said. “It’s pretty obvious. He’s probably our most physically aggressive kid and he’s a great rebounder. He has a real good understanding of the game. We don’t just put them in places and run plays. He’s learning those things, but as long as he plays hard, is aggressive and goes and gets the ball, he’s going to make us better.”

One thing Perdue is arguably the best on the team at is communication. He will yell, scream and direct, particularly on defense.

“He brings a lot of energy,” Froe said. “A lot of times, none of us want to talk, and he’ll be the one to do it. He gets us going.”

For that, Perdue credits his teammates.

“It comes from them being so great to me and so welcoming,” he said. “This is a great team, and it’s easy to be yourself.”

Russell told Perdue early on that just because he was a freshman didn’t mean he couldn’t be one of the leaders on the team. Perdue took that to heart, and it shows in his actions.

Already a potent threat on the right block and turning to shoot over his left shoulder, he planned to work on his drop-steps and catching passes from the wing over the holiday break.

Katy begins district play this week, opening with Mayde Creek on Friday. The Tigers are 10-9, indicative of consistency issues that Russell said must be addressed.

Otherwise, he likes what he sees from a roster that goes 10-deep.

“We’ve got a group of kids that has been with us a while and has a good understanding of how we want to play,” Russell said. “They really enjoy sharing success and genuinely like each other on and off the court. It makes them a fun group to coach and a fun group to watch.”

Aside from Froe and Perdue, there’s seniors Casper Belaiter, Bryce Purchase and Chermane Sims, and juniors Connor Champion and Ryon Johnson that are efficient, productive playmakers.

It is a lot of no-nonsense, workmanlike talent that does not lack confidence.

“We’re a team most people look at and they don’t expect us to come out there and whoop them,” Champion said. “When we play and go out there and work, we can compete with a lot of teams out there.”

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment