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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 2, 2010

Working on focus
Lots of new players a challenge for Guilderland basketball team

By Jordan J. Michael

GUILDERLAND –– The Dutchmen basketball team isn’t dealing with a whole lot of experience and it might take a little more time than usual to get the ball rolling.

“They aren’t executing too well,” Head Coach Ron Osinski said of his players after Monday’s somewhat shaky practice. “They’re working on keeping focus.”

The Dutch brought in eight new players for 2010 –– seven juniors and one sophomore –– after eight seniors graduated last year. Seniors Brendan Doak, Justin Horne, Jordan Weeden, and Chris Yankowski return to the line-up.

After a short break in practice, Osinski called the players over and questioned their passion and focus towards the game. Osinski told The Enterprise that he’s thrown a lot of plays and individual sets at the team since practices started on Nov. 8.

“It’s taking them a while to catch on,” Osinski said. “I just hope we get better and improve every day. A lot of things have to happen and these kids need to get to know each other. It’ll take some time.”

Osinski raised his voice a few times on Monday, but he’s comfortable using discipline to get the point across, and has for many years as a coach at Guilderland. Osinski said that he and assistant coach Maceo Dubose are people who “correct mistakes on the spot.”

“The whole discipline thing isn’t easy because you don’t always know how they’ll respond to it,” said Osinski, who is trying to get the Dutch players to use high hands on defense, but they’re not really responding to his request. “It’s not like I’m trying to get them to wear a tie or anything. It’s fundamental stuff.”

Guilderland had two scrimmages and Osinski said that “some questions need to be answered” before the first game against Vestal at the Saratoga Tip-Off Tournament on Friday.

“Those scrimmages showed us that we needed a little work,” Osinski said. “The juniors up from the junior-varsity team only lost a few games last year, so I’m expecting them to fill some roles.”

Osinski told The Enterprise that the junior class of Matt Breton, Brandon Courtney, Cameron Dobbs, Michael Doynow, Taylor Dubose, Alex Gaines, and Eric Golderman are used to winning. “They’re basketball savvy,” Osinski said. “But, they have to put all the concepts together.”

The Dutchmen have decent size as a team. Courtney and Gaines are 6 feet, 4 inches, and Weeden, Dubose, and Yankowski all stand at 6 feet, 3 inches.

“We have a little more size than in the past and the talent is looking pretty good,” said Osinski. “The guard play is looking good, but they’re a little careless with the ball.”

Osinski wants Guilderland to push the ball, but sometimes the team will have to slow things down. “It’s hard to go from 150 miles per hour, down to 80,” he said.

The Dutchmen’s first Suburban Council game is Friday, Dec. 10, at home and Osinski said that the Suburban Council is looking “relatively more competitive” than last year. Starting this Friday, Guilderland will have four games in seven or eight days.

“I’m always nervous at the beginning,” Osinski said. “You can be patient to a point, but then the games come.”

The Dutch are hoping to get an act together and correct the easy mistakes, but it won’t happen instantly. Last season’s team started out slowly and finished strong with some quality wins.

“It takes the new kids a couple of weeks to get into a flow,” said Osinski. “We’re a work in progress, so we’ll see what works.”

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