Tough Love Does The Trick For N. Farmington Hoopsters – Raiders Rock&Roll Over Break
North Farmington boys basketball coach Todd Negoshian took some flack recently after blasting his Raiders club to the media in the wake of a pre-Christmas break loss to crosstown rival Farmington, which dropped his squad, Class A state finalists last season, to a dismal 0-3. Negoshian, a spunky point guard as a prepster himself in the late 1990s, wears his emotions on his sleeve. He doesn’t hold back. He shoots from the hip – fair, caring, fiercely loyal, yet brutally honest and unapologetic at the same time. Traditionally, the approach has resonated in his program and appears thisoccasion was no different.
Well, whether you agree with the comments or not, they certainly lit a spark under his players and have resulted in a serious upgrade in effort and performance from his rough-around-the-edges Raiders cage crew. Team NOGO responded from the tongue lashing and public shaming by pulling a pair of impressive upsets over its next two games, both taking place this past week at the 22nd annual Motor City Roundball Classic. First, on Thursday, the Raiders knocked off Dearborn Divine Child. Then, on Friday, they defeated Detroit Henry Ford, a Class B state finalist the last two seasons and the 2015 state champ.
All of a sudden, North Farmington has gone from a pending disaster to a potential contender and once again Negoshian is proving a master motivator. And it hasn’t been just the Amauri Hardy show. Yes, the Oklahoma State commit and flashy combo guard, is making a strong case for his Mr. Basketball candidacy, averaging 29 points per game, but fellow gritty senior guard Karl Patrick and fast-improving junior forward Kendall Hayes seem to be coming into their own. The role players are no longer liabilities. The fact that a couple of starters will be making it back soon from injuries only makes the future brighter in Raiders Hoop Nation.
Hardy is the only returner from the 2016 team that fell in the state championship game to Detroit U-D Jesuit. The learning curve at a program like North Farmington is steep and Hardy has done a good job of being patient and unselfish with his teammates, trying his best to get them in gear and comfortable competing at the requisite “OAA Red level." One of the toughest leagues in the state, the Raiders and Clarkston shared the crown last winter.