Defensive resurgence fuels lineup as games approach

By Drew Thomas, Advocate Staff

Another year marks a new season for CCC’s men’s basketball team as the new players are learning to play together and establishing a team identity.

“This season, we have a lot of young players, transfer guys and some first year sophomores. It’s just about finding out what our identity is, what we’re going to hang our hat on, and who were going to be this upcoming season as a young group,” Comet men’s basketball coach Miguel Johnson said.

In every sport, when starting a new season, it is common to have lost key players from the previous season who were essential to the team’s success. CCC did lose some of its firepower from last season, including forward Curtis Harris who was named to the All-Bay Valley Conference team as a freshmen.

However, CCC did bring back some of its experienced players who may offer leadership going into these upcoming games.

“I have expectations from each guy on this team. I think collectively as a group we can get it done. I’m sure I’ll lean more towards our sophomore and second year guys rather than the freshmen,” Johnson said.

“Everybody’s competing for spots and going hard at each other,” freshman shooting guard Darrius Scott said. Second year players have experienced winning and losing on the college level, which makes them the most prepared this season.

Comet sophomore combo guard Stephen Evans said this year’s team is a little bit more athletic and that the team just needs to figure out how to mesh with each other.

CCC’s efforts to bring in more athletic players will help give the team an advantage in rebounding the ball and when hustling for loose balls.

Johnson will make adjustments from last season by focusing more on team defense, defensive rebounding and limiting turnovers.

“This year, we’re just trying to keep things simple. We started out trying to incorporate a lot of things, so this year, we’re going to simplify our system.” he said.

He hopes that the adjustments being made will lead to more running and the creation of easy baskets in transition.

Players are buying into Johnson’s style of play, as he believes this season’s team will play at more of an up-tempo pace.

The Comets continue to make adjustments this season by bringing in new players, especially aspiring guards that hope to offer leadership to the team.

“I’m hoping that the leadership from the point guard spot will emerge,” Johnson said.

The first-year players come in with a chip on their shoulder and look to prove what they can do on the college level.

“We’ve got to learn how to play with each other, know what each other can do and know when to get them going,”  guard Kemare Wright said.