LOSING eight seniors off an Elite Eight squad last year has made for a rather atypical summer for the Jefferson boys’ basketball team.
Dragon coaches are devoting much more time to teaching offensive and defensive schemes than usual with only four players returning with any game experience from last year’s 26-6 team.
“It’s been enjoyable so far this summer, but it’s real different,” said coach Bolling DuBose, who enters his 39th year at Jefferson.
Roc Young (rising senior), Kendrick Robinson (rising senior), Hunter Thompson (rising junior) and Chris Nable (rising senior) are the only returning Dragons who saw regular playing time this past winter. Michael Dills (rising senior) and Rodney Carr (rising senior) return, too, though both played very sparingly last year. Other than that, everyone else is moving up from the junior varsity. Jefferson will look for contributions from new varsity players like rising juniors Adrian Turpin, Gavin Corbin and Jonathan Ray and rising sophomore Kasen Rainey.
The key so far this summer? Simplify.
“We’ve had to do more teaching,” DuBose said. “We’ve had to kind of slow down. The younger guys don’t know how we want to run things offensively and defensively.”
DuBose’s two major concerns are getting his young squad to play solid defense and finding a way to rebound effectively without a player taller than 6-1 on the roster. The coach said this will be the smallest team he’s fielded “in a long, long time.”
Jefferson, however, does have four to five solid outside shooters and will rely on three-point shooting this winter more than it has in the past.
“We’re going to have to take advantage of that,” DuBose said.
Jefferson also hopes to dictate tempo of the game and make its opponents play fast. The Dragons — who may play as many as five guards on the court at once — do have more experience in the backcourt than in the post.
“If you’ve got really good guards, especially a good point guard — and we’ve got two of them — they can keep you in games that you probably shouldn’t stay in,” DuBose said.
Jefferson played eight scrimmages last week and will have played eight more by the end of this week. The team will then depart for its annual trip to Presbyterian College’s camp where it will play 10-11 more games.
“I really look forward to it,” said DuBose, who will take 40 kids between the high school and middle school levels to the camp. “It’s the best thing we do all summer.”
While his Dragons certainly have a challenge on their hands, DuBose is not intimidated by what his group is up against this season. In fact, he said the process “is going to be fun.”
“As a coach, this is going to be a team, to me, that has a chance to really improve a lot as the season goes on,” DuBose said. “It’s going to be a fun team to coach. We’re going to try to play fast and hope teams can’t keep up with us.”
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
The author does not allow comments to this entry