I don't think anyone from the fans, to the coaches to BNB can say that 8th even 6th place finishes were meeting expectations. I do think it matters what expectations we had for these teams, but when do we come up with these expectations and what we do as a province in supporting these goals are also issues.
Lets go all the way back to tryouts.
Did all of our teams get the best talent out there? No, but I think every province would have at least one player they would like to have but don't.
I do look at the initial lineups on these teams and see missing pieces that could/should? have been playing. Not because they were cut mind you, but because playing for their province wasn't a priority or financial realities. Then you add in players who couldn't because of commitments or injuries. Combine that with the lack of financial support from our provincial government for athletes and coaches to travel and train. I'm not sure these teams were all as strong as they could have been. When does this allow our expectations change?
Going into August:
Kids have been removed. Kids have decided to not play. Who and how are we replacing them? Do expectations change now?
Now lets go into the non summer months:
- If you look at the stats, you will find that in most games even the loses. NB through tough defense and good teammwork took more shots then the opposition. Some times 20+ more shots, yet sub 30 % shooting from the floor and 3 pt line doesn't allow us to win games we need/want to to advance. At this level our kids need to be able to execute skills and speed, and make jump shots/pull ups/ creative finishes at high speed vs. high levels of challenge and contact. Yet in our club/school teams our gets get most of their points on uncontested layups, and open jump shots. In mini and middle school points get scored by the getting fast break layups off turnovers and teams running offenses until they get layup or interior finish for a player who can finish inside. In high school teams play better m2m or zone up and ball handling improves, but most team defenses are happy to have your 3rd , 4th or 5th option shooting jumpshots and your 1st and 2nd option taking contested shots. Most offenses are content to have their best player attacking the interior with a favorable matchup and then depending on 1 or 2 other scoring options and/ trusting that their best attacking players will end up at the foul line
If you look at the teams that won the NBIAA provincials this Feb. I feel its fair to say in at least 3 of 4 cases (I apologize for not being more familiar with AA girls teams province wide) the teams that won had as many ,if not more, players who could make consistently make shots from the perimeter then anyone else in their leagues. Yet the majority of other teams that I see play aren't playing to get jump shots or even encouraging the open players on their teams shoot it. When does our expectation for our province to do better going to be reflected in the time, tactics, and coaching of the majority of our athletes with a priority on offensive fundamentals and not on tactics to win games. We can see from the stats what they issues are, when is it going to be a priority to change to meet expectation rather then simply complaining when we don't?
Now that I've rambled let me sum up:
- Did they meet expectation this year? NO.
- Were their factors contributing to the lack of success? Yes
1) Specific to this year, teams not having the best talent available or them not being able to play.
2) Ongoing factor is our kids ability to shoot and score the ball vs high levels of pressure, physical defense at speed that need to be addressed before we can consistently meet high expectations.