It seems like the recipe for success for David City boys basketball in 2018-19 is as simple as not settling. It starts with not settling for jump shots, but that overall attitude would serve the Scouts well.
David City will lack size again, but with the right approach, Coach Cole Carraher, in his third season leading the program, believes perhaps a winning season, the first in six years, is within reach.
Even if the Scouts’ overall reach is limited.
“We haven’t got that 6-5 kid to transfer in yet. Our tallest kid has been right at 6-foot or 6-1, and will again this year,” Carraher said. “We’re still fairly small and like to press, get out and run a little bit.
“I think we’ll be a little deeper, maybe play a little more man-to-man defense and pressure that way.”
Carraher and the Scouts went 9-13 in his second season leading the David City boys. They were 6-15 the year before.
The program hasn’t enjoyed a winning season since a 16-8 mark in 2013, but with a majority of the scoring and experience returning, the Scouts figure to be as competitive as ever.
They graduated just two seniors from last year’s squad and welcome back leading scorer Will Danielson.
Limited on the inside, David City will instead have to attack with its athleticism off the dribble.
“We actually enjoyed it last year when teams would play man-to-man against us. Will Danielson, Luis Salazar, Josh Seibert, and Nick Ruth, those four returning starters, they’re probably strongest beating guys off the dribble and getting to the free throw line,” Carraher said.
“All four of them are very capable of hitting from the outside, but we weren’t very consistent with that. We had some kids that had some pretty good games, but it was streaky. We’re not expecting to rely on that as much as our athleticism.”
David City scored just over 45 points per game a year ago, won two of its first three games but then lost seven in a row. The Scouts finished 7-5 to finish the regular season but went through another skid of four in a row in that stretch.
Considering it from that angle though, isn’t totally accurate.
“Our goal last year was to be .500, and it was there for us, but we lost a game to Twin River by two, had some tough games shooting the ball and things not going our way,” Carraher said. “East Butler, Schuyler, Madison, those were all tough losses that were competitive.
“Wilber-Clatonia came down to the last 30 seconds of the game, but we also won a lot of close games. So, we could have just as easily had a five or six-win season.”
Through the first week of practice, Carraher and the staff have been preaching defense and focusing on what can be controlled.
That includes defense, rebounding, running the floor and being in better condition.
Developing depth will help in all those areas. David City only really played six players a year ago, something Carraher knows has to change if winning 12 or more games is a realistic goal.
“When you looked at our schedule a couple years ago, you thought maybe there’s 10 winnable games there, and we won six of them. Last year, there’s 12, 13 very winnable games and won nine of them,” he said. “This year I really think there’s 15 within the regular season, a holiday tournament game, a conference tournament game, I think 15 is possible.”
And unlike recent seasons, it won’t necessarily take a perfect game to capture those wins.
What it will take, again, is not settling.
It starts with not settling for jump shots just because the size isn’t there on the inside and includes carrying that attitude over for what the guys should expect of themselves.
“I think we started to learn that last year,” Carraher said. “It’s been so long since we’ve had a true post. We had a couple 6-3 guys a few years ago, but it didn’t necessarily lead to success and being more success offensively.
“We can find ways around it if we’re smart enough with the ball and patient enough with the ball to score inside some.”
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor for the Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net