New East Jackson girls’ basketball coach Cherrelle Pullen hasn’t been on the job long but is seeing the potential of the roster she’s inherited.
Pullen’s Eagles took to the court last week for four scrimmages as the team continued its off-season work with the first-time head coach.
“They have the energy to be very successful,” Pullen said. “One thing that’s been our Achilles (heel) is just being committed to practice. We’ve only had five actual practice days and three where we’ve had enough to run certain offenses or defenses. But other than that, they’ve been committed to following new leadership and doing things that may be a little bit different. I’m excited about everything.”
The former Cedar Shoals assistant has been using the scrimmage schedule, among other things, to work on the team’s press.
“I’ve really been pushing for us pressing, which we pressed (last) Tuesday,” she said. “We came out doing really good at it. We got a few steals and a few layups out of it … That’s something we’ve definitely been trying to aim for.”
To that end, the coach said she’s seeing good energy defensively.
“I’ve got guards that I consider ‘dogs,’’ she said. “As long as you do that, you make your defense create your offense and let that work for you.”
Pullen also said her team has been working on “getting and going — pushing the ball on the offensive side.”
More scrimmages are ahead as Pullen will take the team to a team camp at Savannah State, where the team is assured a minimum of six games. The camp champion will be able to attend next year’s camp for free.
“It gives you incentive to want to win,” Pullen said.
Meanwhile, the summer schedule continues to give the new coach time to get to know her new team.
“They’ve been receptive to me, and I’ve enjoyed so far this summer transition,” Pullen said.