A slow start has left the SWC men’s basketball team searching for answers. After back-to-back winning seasons, the team is off to a grim 2-9 start. Hope for a rebound abounds. Conference play begins in January.
Co-captain Richard Grove said the slow start has been caused by the team’s struggle to find its chemistry.
“We’re a young team,” he said. “I’m the only sophomore on the team, so the guys are just learning how to get together and learn their roles.”
Co-captain Edward Winslow said the team’s success needs to start with the captains.
“As co-captain, I have to lead by example because most of the things I do, the team follows,” he said. “I have to bring more energy to the table and set the tone.”
Head Coach John Cosentino said the team needs to work on communication and execution.
“As a team, we have to execute plays both ways on the court,” he said. “We need to value each possession that we have.”
The Jags are shooting 43 percent from the field, but they are averaging 11 turnovers a game and are getting consistently out-rebounded.
Winslow said the team is handling the ball well and taking good shots, but efficiency is an issue.
“They’re just not falling in,” he said. “Our defense needs to improve. That starts with trusting one another and communicating throughout the game.”
Despite the disappointing start, both co-captains said they believe the Jags will be able to persevere and turn the page.
“We move on to the next play,” said Winslow. “If we mess up we don’t dwell on it. We look for what’s next and we make up for it, regardless of what side of the ball it’s on.”
Grove said he has faith in his team.
“We have a lot of guys on this team who play their hearts out,” he said. “We just have to keep pushing and fighting and the success will come.”
Grove said that team cohesiveness is key to their future and is looking forward to the rest of the season.
“Our team chemistry is building stronger every time we step foot on the court together,” said Grove. “Once that chemistry is there, our whole season is going to turn around.”
The Jaguars won their first game in the Palomar Tournament against Los Angeles Trade Tech, before being eliminated. The Jaguars have two more December tournaments, in Cypress and Compton.