By Dave Long Contributing Writer
Watching his team average 86.6 points per game has been a big adjustment for Xenia Hgh School boys basketball coach Kent Anderson.
“With players we have and our system, I knew we’d be capable of putting up some points. But I didn’t expect this,” said Anderson after his team defeated Fairborn, 106-92, last Friday. ” A lot of years I don’t think the teams I coached broke 80 all season.
“I don’t know if we can keep scoring like this all season. Right now it’s a lot of fun. The kids really love the way we play and our fans are into it. And it’s a refreshing challenge for me as a coach to try something new.”
Xenia is 8-1 with six straight wins. The Buccs schedule gets challenging this week at 6-2 Beavercreek tonight at hosting 6-2 Miamisburg (also winner of six straight).
Anderson has coached boys and girls for 27 years. This is his third year as Xenia’s head coach. All of his teams in that span ran a traditional patterned offense with the ball going inside as option No. 1.
“Last February we talking as a staff about what we were gonna do in the fuure,” he said. “We had no one coming back from the varsity or reserve teams who was over 6-foot-2 and no size on the freshman team.
“Running a post-oriented offense didn’t seem feasible. What we did have coming back and in the pipeline were a lot of really good athletes who were quick, good leapers, could run and were decent shooters and ball handlers We had to find a way to utilize those strengths.”
So Anderson and his staff went looking for a different offensive system. They found it at West Liberty State W.Va., which averaged 111 points as the No.1 team in NCAA Division II ranks last season.
“Last spring we spent at few days with West Liberty coach Jim Crutchfield and his guys learning what they do,” said Anderson. “It fit for us.”
The result is quite unlike Xenia’s prodding style of the past. The offense is push the ball, get quick shots which are either layups or 3-point attempts. The defense is pressure all over the floor all the time.
Marques Greene, a 6-foot senior, has been the biggest benefactor of the change averaging 17.8 points, 8.0 assists, 5.3 steals and 4.4 rebounds per game. Dominique Tucker (6-1, jr) is at 16.3 points, Cody Phillippi (5-11, jr) at 12.9 points, 4.9 assists and Drew Felder (5-11, sr.) 10.8 points off the bench.
“I know people talk about our defense giving up points (69.5 per game),” said Anderson.” But when you play an uptempo, pressure the ball style to score points, you give up points.”Tweet