Sure, scoring double figures is nice. But Landyn Snipes gets his joy from making sure his opponent doesn’t.
“It’s the best frustrating somebody,” Snipes said. “If I can frustrate their top scorer, hold them to eight points, that’s the best feeling.”
In a season already filled with distractions, Snipes has been quite the opposite as a low-key guy who does his job. He isn’t the first, or second, or even third option on offense. He’s not an inside threat by most accounts, and he’s rarely the guy spotting up for the corner 3.
But Snipes has a role just the same — as the Wildcats’ “hotter,” the team lingo for its main defensive player.
“He’s not our main scorer,” senior guard Alex Flores said, “but he gets his five or six points a night, and he shuts down their best scorer. That’s all we can ask.”
Snipes would have liked to ask for more playing time last year, but mainly got blowout minutes during the Wildcats’ 20-10 campaign.
He has long had one of the quickest pairs of feet on the Wildcat roster, but learning how to use that speed didn’t always come so easy to the 6-foot, 155-pound Snipes.
“ Last year,” Flores said, “his mind was going 100 miles an hour, and his body was going 100 miles an hour.”
So Snipes sat and slowly soaked in Wildcat basketball from one of the best seats in the house.
“ i played a lot of JV, I got to watch Jaye (Crockett) and those other guys,” Snipes said. “I got to see the good things they did, and also the bad things they did.”
And, previously a shooting guard, Snipes learned how to be a point guard on the junior varsity level.
“ Once I got the hang of that, everything else seemed easy for me,” Snipes said. “Everything’s slower for me and I can see the floor well.”
Now, he uses his quickness to the detriment of other teams’ top scorer. Well, with the exception of Arizona State-bound Corey Hawkins, who scored 40 points against the Wildcats in last week’s New Mexico/Arizona challenge.
“I hung out with him throughout the tournament,” Snipes said. “He was the nicest guy. I couldn’t get under his skin.”
Division I guards aside, the Wildcats’ staff is happy with the jump Snipes has made from his junior season.
“Landyn does things that don’t show up in the stats most nights,” Clovis coach J.D. Isler said. “But the coaches definitely notice, that’s for sure.”
Snipes and the rest of the Wildcats showed up for a school board meeting Tuesday to voice their opinions on the suspension and dismissal of Isler, which has been held off by an injunction. Snipes said he looks forward to being able to push those distractions to the side and focus on the game.
“Once we get this stuff out of the way,” Snipes said, “we want to come together and be a team that makes things happen for each other. We want to be a team, and beat everyone in the state.”