A long offseason came to a close Monday for Mikel Davison and the Duncan basketball team. Workouts, workouts and more workouts have prepped the Demons for what Davison believes will be a highly successful season.
Now, it’s his favorite time of the year. The first few practices are in the bag and Davison is seeing the fruits of the Demons offseason labor.
“We’re working on our strength, our core strength, shooting form, post and guard moves,” Davison said. “It’s a lot of hard work on a lot of people’s part. We’re focusing in on player development and that’s going to be our goal over the next month or so.”
Duncan will practice for several weeks before its first scrimmage. A few football players will be out during that time, but Davison said he’s happy with the group he has working in the gym.
“We’ve got a good group, a lot of good guys,” he said. “We’ve got Ryan Cox, who started at point guard last year. We’ve got Jackson Stone, who started at forward. Bruce Peterson and John Hamm, Chance Jolley is in here learning the program. We’re getting Jacob Hammond squared away and we’ve got a solid sophomore class. We’re getting ready to go compete and getting back into basketball shape, getting our basketball legs back underneath us.”
Davison said he loves seeing his players develop and that practices are what he thrives on.
“Everybody wants to have fun, and we’re going to have fun when we go compete,” Davison said. “For competition to be fun, we’ve go to fine tune ourselves. And that goes a long with working hard in the offseason and getting stronger.
“As a coach, this is when it’s fun, when we’re working on stuff. I’m a practice guy. I love practice. I’m an old school coach and this is what’s fun for me.”
Last season, the Demons fell in the regional playoffs to Capitol Hill and finished the season 13-9. Davison started two juniors and three sophomores and although those players have had a year to mature, he still knows his team will be young.
“We’re still trying to get our numbers up,” said Davison. “We’re trying to get numbers to compete in Class 5A. Of course, we don’t want to cater to kids to come, but we want to get them up to where we should be. When the season starts, I expect that we’ll have about 23 sophomores and up, 15 freshmen and a full seventh and eighth grade program. We’re still young with only five seniors, we’re another year older.”
Davison noted that basketball is choreographed much like a dance. Players aren’t expected to freelance everything and he hopes to instill some pivotal moves in his players over the next few weeks.
“If I can teach a post player seven or eight moves and he can get three of them, that’s going to make him a threat inside,” Davison said. “Same with guards. If I can teach a guard seven or eight moves and he can get three, that’s going to make him have better guard play. Offensively and defensively, it’s all choreographed.
“We’re going to work on footwork and agilities with the basketball and makes sure we get our steps down. We’ve been working on our transition game, running the floor and we’ll add in more defensive stuff as we go along.”
— Ben Whitehead is the sports editor for The Duncan Banner. He can be reached at 255-5354, Ext. 165, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.