|Room to grow|
|J.C. Smith road trip an opportunity to bond, win|
|Published Thursday, December 13, 2012 8:11 am|
Johnson C. Smith basketball coach Steve Joyner is hoping his Golden Bulls will be a better team when they return from their first extended road trip.
|Johnson C. Smith forward Emilio Parks (31) has become a capable complement to high-scoring guard Trevin Parks but the Golden Bulls’ young players will have to become more consistent.|
JCSU (4-2) closes December with five away games, including a pair in Florida against Eckerd and Florida Southern. With eight newcomers on the squad, Joyner is looking for them to grow up without the distractions of home games.
“I’m excited about having to go on the road because that’s where we’re going to grow up,” he said. “Going into a tough Claflin environment (on Dec. 13) that’s a game that by no means we can put into the win column. Then we’ve got to go down to Florida and play a tough Eckerd and tough Florida Southern. We don’t have an easy schedule, but we have a schedule we can learn from and if we learn from this it’ll help us in the next three ball games.”
The road trip started with a 73-61 loss at Wingate in which the Golden Bulls were outrebounded 53-29, including 26-7 on the offensive end. JCSU shot poorly at 42.6 percent, but Joyner was more displeased with the lack of consistency.
“I’m disappointed we didn’t execute better offensively and defensively,” he said.
“We caught them (closing to within 31-28 early in the second half), but we broke down, their physical will took over and they stretched it back out to 11 and maintained it.”
What’s more important to Joyner is that the Golden Bulls become more consistent. Outside of leading scorers Trevin Parks (26.8 points per game) and Emilio Parks (12.8 ppg), JCSU hasn’t established a third offensive threat. Inexperience plays a part, but Joyner is looking for someone to step up before month’s end when the CIAA schedule begins.
“This is a work in progress and I’m glad we got off to a good start but we ran into two good teams in Queens and Wingate and didn’t handle them well,” he said. “We’ve got some other things we’ve got to go to work on.”
By the time JCSU finishes the year with a New Year’s Eve matinee at Belmont Abbey, Joyner will have an indication of how far the Golden Bulls have come as a team. He’s counseling a long-term view as the non-conference schedule winds down.
“Don’t be immature about it,” he said. “Let’s use it as growing lesson and we’ll go back and work harder to be more fundamentally sound so we can get us some wins. Hopefully, they’ll buy into that.”
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