The Colonials are currently 5-6 and will play DCL opponent Boston Latin away tonight. As the record shows, the team has been inconsistent and has hovered below or at .500 for much of the season. Despite the inconsistency, the team’s record in the DCL Large is 2-1, which is tied for first place. The team pretty much needs to win the rest of its DCL Large games in order to complete this feat. This would be a great accomplishment for the team as the Acton-Boxborough Colonials are three time defending Dual County League Champions. This 2013 team certainly does not want to be the team that did not continue that streak.
1. Three point shooting
Although the team takes a lot of three point shots among themselves, the team makes a handful. The team’s ability to make three pointers has allowed for them to make some near comebacks against team’s such as Westford and Waltham.
The team has also done a good job with pressing. The players give opposing front court players a hassle. The press, in particular, has been effective in the beginning of games. The Colonials against Waltham, Chelmsford and to a certain extent against Londondery got early leads from forcing turnovers in the press. In my opinion, the players need to press all four quarters to give themselves a chance to win.
The team has not done a great job at defensive rebounding. Each game the opposing team has always made its mark on the offensive glass. DCL rivals, Westford and Waltham, in particular really were able to take advantage of Colonials on the glass.
Reason? Coach Kilpatrick is running a four guard lineup with one big man. The strategy hasn’t worked defensively as the team isn’t able to control the glass. More second chance opportunities has given other teams easy points in the paint. No matter how good a team’s perimeter and team defense is if the team cannot rebound, the defense falters.
I think this is where Coach K has actually made some bad coaching decisions. Currently, the team starts Alex Boyd and Joe Euele for big men (this is a formidable duo) and do a pretty good job rebounding. However, off the bench only Eustaquio Cavalhro comes off the bench as a big man. As a result, the rebounding suffers. Coach K really needs to start putting the only other big man on the team, Ben Danzig to allow the two guys to carry the rebounding load for the bench.
The Colonials have also turned the ball over a lot. Sloppy passes and the inability to break presses/traps have both led to the increased number of turnovers.
Also factoring into the high number of turnovers is the inexperience (of the ten men rotation, four players are first year varsity players) and lack of chemistry within the group of players. Also, I would say the different lineups Coach K has put on. Coach K really needs to establish a set rotation in order to allow the players to develop chemistry.
Strategies to Employ:
1. Go Inside
One of things watching the Colonials on offense is that the team’s ball movement is mostly on the perimeter. The team currently runs a flex offense; although this provides great movement and forces the defense to react, the team has failed to go inside as much as should.
Last year’s team which had only two losses all year also ran a flex offense many times during the game (especially after a failed fast break attempt). The reason that the 2012’s team flex offense was so successful was because the team went inside to then senior captain and DCL MVP, Kevin LaFrancis. LaFrancis, from the post position, was able to get into the paint and get a shot off or get fouled.
2. Run More Set Plays
One of other things I noticed is that the Colonials really don’t run much set offense. This is a start different to last year when the team had just around ten different sets to work with. There have been glimpses of set plays (i.e. when the team runs a curl for Ryan Graziano, however, the calling of set plays hasn’t been consistent). A flex offense for the whole game is not really the most effective offense.