T.A.Y. (Turnaround Year) was more than an acronym for the 2006-07 Cougar basketball team.
“That was not just a slogan for us,” remembers Kyle Weaver, a junior guard on the team. “We really took it to heart. It goes to the things we did to prepare for it to be a turnaround year.”
“We had a lot of tough, grueling workouts,” adds Weaver.
Weaver remembers seeing the director of strength and conditioning, David Lang, when arriving for the day’s workout session; in particular, the runs up the hills of Sunnyside Park in the summer heat.
“We came to the hill and said, ‘What’s about to happen today? What’s up his sleeve?’” Weaver says. “Afterward it was like, ‘We made it. We took an extra step.’ And we saw it on the court. It carried over.”
For Derrick Low, a junior guard on the 2006-07 team, his turnaround year started a couple days after his teammates.
As the team came back to Pullman for summer conditioning, Low’s return trip from Hawaii was delayed a couple of days. During that time, coach Tony Bennett held a team meeting and introduced T.A.Y. to the players, including an explanation of what it stood for.
When Low did return, Bennett had a surprise waiting for him.
“Because I came back late, Tony told me ‘Derrick, because you’re late it’s only fair you’re going to have to run an extra hill until you figure what T.A.Y. stands for.’ I had to run extra hills until I figured it out,” Low recalls.
As Low explains, he was probing his teammates for information asking, “What does T.A.Y. stand for?”
“No one really wanted to tell me,” Low says, laughing, “But they gave me little hints. It took me a couple of weeks to finally figure it out. I had to find out the hard way.”
The turning point – Remembering the 2006 game against Gonzaga
Read more about the 2006-07 Cougar men’s basketball team and their T.A.Y.