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Coaches Blog – September 30, 2018

The preseason has now concluded and we start to prepare for our first regular season game against Niigata. It has been a very fruitful preseason and I feel we have taken some great strides in the right direction. We have faced many different challenges and I feel have answered them all in a very positive manner. As a coach you know you will not be playing your best basketball at this time of the year and you are looking for the improvements that the team is making in the hope that you enter the new season knowing you will be better than you were in the previous year.

I feel that this group has made some tremendous steps forward and we look much better prepared than last season. With the addition of the new players I feel we play a much smarter brand of basketball and have more scoring punch across the board. In Gani we have a very good low post target that commands so much respect and this creates a lot of space for our shooters.

At different times throughout the preseason we have seen different players step forward and contribute to the scoring of the team. We will have a very well-balanced scoring attack this season and I suspect that Koyo and Yusuke in particular will continue to improve and kick on from last season. Both showed how good they can be at different times and both have worked extremely hard in the off season to improve. I have never seen Yusuke shoot the ball better than he is right now.

Of the new comers I expect Nino and Junky to provide plenty of scoring support to the others. Gaku will provide the extra muscle up front which keep the opposition big men honest and let them know they are in for a real battle every time they hit the floor. 

We recruited Taishi to help with our leadership and this was very evident in our recent scrimmage against Akita. In the first half Akita came out and played an extremely physical game of basketball that pushed us out of what we were trying to do. It would have been easy to let their physical play really disrupt us but Taishi did an amazing job of keeping everybody focused and on task. This enabled us to settle down and go on a 20 to 3 run and take a 10-point lead. I then rested our main players to give our bench players more court time. While we ended up losing the game by 3 points I could not have been happier with the way we dealt with the adversity and played the game out. I know this experience will make us much better heading into the season proper in this coming week.

With Niigata here next weekend I am so excited to get this season kicking off and underway. It is going to be a cracker of a season and one that I believe we will perform very well in. We still have a lot of hard work to perfect our processes but the way the team is working and enjoying itself I know we are prepared to do the work and the playoffs are a realistic goal to keep moving forward as a club.

See you next weekend.

With energy