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Men’s basketball works to improve

By Dan Kelly
Sports Editor         

The UNCP men’s basketball team is going into the 2006-07 season trying to improve on the 2005-06 season’s 5-24 overall and 1-18 Peach Belt Conference record.          

Experience            

For Head Coach Jason Tinsley, the key to the Braves’ season will be  returning players developing their games so the team does not remain stagnant.

“They need to improve. They can’t be the same player they were last year,” Tinsley said.            
                       
Returning players include Arnie Danielson, Cortez Brown, Tony Carr and Jarrell Hunter.

The experience allows Tinsley to speed up the process of teaching new concepts during practice.            

The players also benefit from knowing which drills the coach has planned to develop those concepts.

Strategic Changes

Tinsley also said he has noticed defensive improvements through their first exhibition game.            

Strategic decisions have also been tweaked by dividing playing time among three point guards, where the team previously used only one.

The team’s main weakness — which Tinsley thought was true for many teams — is the lack of “true” size with players 6’8” and above.            

The head coach said he had a preference for a skilled mid-size player over a larger player with questionable skills.

Hard to catch up

In terms of wins and losses, Tinsley said that it’s difficult to make up ground on other PBC teams who have no restrictions on their allotted 10 scholarships.                    

This is especially tough in a conference Tinsley called one of the top three in the nation.            

“Nobody in this league gets worse. Everybody just keeps getting better,” Tinsley said.

Experienced transfers in the Peach Belt is one of the reasons why the Peach Belt is extremely competitive, according to Tinsley.           

Exhibition vs. UNC-W            

The first game of the preseason for the Braves was an 84-58 loss on the road to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

The Braves’ shot 26 percent from the field and was the main reason Tinsley cited in their defeat.            

The majority of that low percentage was due to missing numerous open shots.

UNCW was able to capitalize on the Braves’ 29 percent three-point percentage with transition baskets.            

The Seahawks were more efficient with their shooting at 56 percent from the field and 47 percent from the three-point range.

The Braves forced 26 turnovers in the game but UNCW won the rebound margin 44-38. Jarrell Hunter lead UNCP offensively with 14 points.            

Tinsley did commend the team’s overall effort and defense for the first game of the season.

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Updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2006
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