Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Basketball-M - Coach's Report - November 24th, 2010

This weekend marks the final two games of the OUA East and West Interlock schedule and we will finish with the tough task of facing two very talented and deep squads in Windsor and Western this Friday and Saturday night respectively. Windsor currently sits tied atop the west divsion with a record of 5-1 while Western has suffered from some inconsistency and has a record of 3-3.

At this point our focus has very much shifted internally as the players continue to battle hard to have the opportunity to win games. With a record of 1-5 through our first six games we have shown the ability to compete by being in 4 very competitive games and have also shown the ability to falter in losing two lopsided contests to very good teams in WLU and Lakehead. For the most part we have continued to improve defensively and have been able to hang around in games due to our defensive efforts. This is not to say that we are happy with our defense as we have unfortunately shown a consistency for having a poor defensive quarter in each game and in most cases that has coincided with us losing an opportunity to win.

Ultimately, our biggest hurdle remains the ability to score consistently and from a variety of sources. 4th guard Dan Bannister has been tremendous in this area averaging 20.33 PPG to this point in the season placing him in 4th place amongst OUA scoring. Other veteran guards Tim Boyle and Chris Barrett have been steady for the most part at 10 and 8 PPG respectively, however, the depth of our scoring after that becomes inconsistent. At this point in order to get better in the immediate future we must be extremely efficient at converting easy basket opportunities. For example, this past Saturday night at Lakehead we found ourselves down by 17 at the half against a very good team. However, in that first half we missed what I would consider 5 uncontested layups and went 1-6 from the free throw line. Those 15 points can mean all the difference in making an early blow out into a tight contest. The bottom line is that collectively we as a team must grasp the easy opportunities we create while also working to get more efficient at creating those opportunities. The later of these two falls primarily to the myself and the coaching staff as we continue to explore other ways in which we can generate more consistent offense.

As a team we have struggled in certain areas, however, there is no doubt that the players are competing night in and night out and are determined to improve as are we as coaches. This weekend we will approach each game separately and prepare in a way that will give us the best opportunity to win. Our hope is that we can take at least one win away from this weekend which will allow us to stay with the pack in the OUA east.

We have had two long weeks on the road and I think that all of us are really looking forward to returning to the friendly confines of the ARC. I hope that some of you are able to get out to see the games this weekend and support the players in their efforts.

Note: Many of you have been asking how Mitch Leger has been doing with his professional experience. Mitch is playing in the Pro B League in Hamburg, Germany and after taking a bit of time to adjust to the nuances of the European game (and officiating) Mitch has settled in well. He recently put together two spectacular back to back performances which saw him win player of the week honours in his conference. We wish Mitch continued success with this challenge. If you would like to follow Mitch the following link will provide you with up to date statistics:

Thanks for all of your ongoing support.