Basketball season waiting patiently in the wings

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 25, 2016

The Andalusia varsity boy’s basketball season is right around the corner, but new head coach Anthony Clark said he doesn’t want to see it start just yet.

“As of right now, our first game is scheduled for the week of the football state championship,” Clark said. “Hopefully, we will have to cancel that game because we are hoping that the football team will be playing for the championship.”

If the Andalusia football team wins tonight, the basketball team will begin their season on Dec. 8.

“We are hoping that we don’t start until December 8th,” Clark said. “Regardless of if we start on the 1st or the 8th, we will only get about three days of actual practice since two-thirds of my team plays football.”

With a lot players on the football team, Clark said the early season could be tough.

“I don’t really expect us to hit a stride until after Christmas,” Clark said. “I know that the energy and the enthusiasm will be there, but the execution probably won’t be.”

One big thing that will be different this year is going be the Andalusia defense, Clark said.

“We are going to play man most of the time,” Clark said. “I’m a believer in man defense because on offense you can’t relax. I think that continuous pressure gives you a chances to create fast-break point, and gives you chance to win. Most teams in this part of the state play zone defense, but I’m a believer in man.”

Although Clark hasn’t seen most of the players since football season began, he has been impressed with the learning curve.

“It’s been several months seen we’ve had everyone in, but we had a very productive summer,” Clark said. “I was really pleasantly surprised by how quickly they picked up on man defense, and how to rotate out of it. These kids have shown me they want to improve. One thing that I’ve learned since being here is that if I tell them I’m going to be up at the gym they just show up. I will be painting the gym or working on other things and they will stay in there shooting and working on different things the entire time.”

Clark said that despite the possible slow start that he expects to his team to be competitive.

“Our main goals this year will be to make it to the regional and final four tournament,” Clark said. “I’ve got 12 guys that are going to dress and there will be 12 guys that are probably going to play every night, at least unit we get our basketball legs about us”