Saints strive to improve

Published 9:07 pm Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy basketball is ready to roll in the second season under coach Lamont Strothers.

After finishing with an 8-13 record last year, in his first year as head coach, Strothers is excited for the start of the season. This team will be without four seniors who were all a part of the rotation for the Saints last year. Strothers has five players coming into the program this year, four of which are eighth-graders.

“We will be a young team at the guard position,” Strothers said. “I’m anxious to see how we are going to do this year. We played well during the summer and the fall. We’ve been practicing hard and had two good scrimmages. The kids are seasoned, but they are young. It’s all about how we make adjustments to keep them improving.”

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Strothers will be welcoming his son Allen into the program. Allen will start for the team at point guard. He is already getting interest from NCAA Division I programs as an eighth-grader.

The Saints will also be returning Matthew Patterson, a promising sophomore forward who will look to take the next step under Strothers. NSA prides itself on having well rounded players who can play under the basket or around the perimeter. That philosophy also goes for guards who will not only be on the perimeter but also playing well in the post and around the basket.

The Saints strength this year will be their ability to move the ball around on the court. Defensively, their strength will be through their ability to add pressure such as denying passing lanes and providing good help defense. NSA wants to improve their ball control this year.

“There isn’t one particular thing that we do well,” Strothers said. “We do a lot of different things. We share the basketball well. Our length will be our strength on defense. We can use our length to limit passes on the perimeter and contest shots.”

For Strothers, as a coach, the biggest thrill for him is when his players run onto the floor for the first time of the season.

“That first five minutes after you run onto the floor out of that locker room is an amazing feeling,” Strothers said. “Your parents, friends and classmates are all cheering. Your favorite song is playing throughout the gym. That’s the best feeling this time of year.”

The Saints will go to Williamsburg Christian Academy on Thursday, Dec. 1. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.