Three years ago when Thunder Ridge coach Lee Toldson started putting together the building blocks for the first Titan boys basketball team, a certain sophomore stood out.
Even back then, Lloyer Driggs had ambition and a developing skill set.
Madison coach Travis Schwab joked that his bigger and more experienced players were able to push the underclassman around a bit, but that didn’t last.
“This year I was just super impressed with him,” Schwab said.
Toldson credited Driggs with helping build a culture at Thunder Ridge. Thunder Ridge finished 19-5 this year, and despite a disappointing finish in the 5A District 5-6 tournament, established itself as an emerging program not only in the district, but in the state.
Driggs was named conference player of the year and was selected as a 5A all-state first teamer after averaging 23.7 points per game, plus 2.3 assists and 2.1 steals.
“You had to get up on him and play him tight as he upped his game he could put the ball on the floor and shoot the ball from outside,” Toldson said. “He has a nice mid-range shot and he could get to the basket. He was able to get to the lane and pull up for the midrange game. That’s a lost art in basketball right now … that made him even more dangerous.”
Driggs said he was disappointed in not reaching the team goal of a state berth, but felt the program’s foundation had been set. The Titans won 10 games last season and nearly doubled that total this year.
“Looking back on it, going 19-5, not a lot of teams do that,” he said. “That’s a good record and that set the bar for the middle schoolers and the kids coming up. That’s the standard.”
Driggs’ accomplishments didn’t go unnoticed. Last week he committed to play college ball at NCAA Division I Tarleton State in Stephenville, Texas. The Texans recently joined the Western Athletic Conference.
“It’s been a dream of mine since fourth grade,” Driggs said.
At least one coach already saw the potential for Driggs at the next level.
“With his overall skill set, he can kind of control the game,” Skyline coach Clint Cornish said. “He looks like a college kid playing high school basketball.”