It’s been a long season for the Grambling State men’s basketball team. With a 63-45 defeat at the hands of Alabama State last Saturday, the Hornets dropped the Tigers record to an awful 6-23 but the good news for the Tigers, the season is finally over. It was a season that Grambling coaches, players and fans would like to forget.
There is no other word to describe year one under basketball Coach Rick Duckett other than awful. Out of the 23 losses the team suffered, 14 of them were double digit loses; also the Tigers were 2-10 in the conference play and 1-14 away from the Assembly Center. The team was not competitive and at times, Rick Duckett and his coaching staff looked more interested than the players.
Besides the bad play on the court, there have been other embarrassments for the Grambling program.
The two best players on the team Jamal Breaux (The SWAC preseason defensive player of the year) and Andrew Priestly (The team’s leading scorer) quit in the middle of the season and the current players questioning the system that Coach Duckett is running; however, all is not lost in this season.
Duckett does have some positive things to take away from this season. Point Guard Ariece Perkins (11.1 ppg 3.9 assists per game and 3.7 rpg) is a very good player who has outstanding talent and Donald Qualls 9.9 points per game is also a solid player as well. These two players ,will be key elements to how far the team goes next season.
Coach Duckett is a good coach ,but there are a couple of things he has to do if he wants to win. Step one, he needs to go out and recruit bigger men. If you look at their roster, they have six guards but only two power forwards.
If you want to win in basketball ,it is paramount that you have a low post back to the basketball defender.
Step two, he must establish a tempo, either they’re going to be a run and gun team, or a slow half-court team.
Step three, Duckett needs to make his team competitive, because it’s one thing to lose and compete but to lose and get blown out, that is another.
Remember that this only year one for Rick Duckett and he did the best he could. He took over for Larry Wright, who over nine years did 88-161.
He didn’t inherit a Tyler Hansbrough or a Blake Griffin, he inherited a team that was young and experienced. I have faith, that in time, Rick Duckett will get this program back on track and Grambling basketball will be back to the way it used to be.
This man is a proven coach and once he gets the guys that play his type of system, Grambling will be a real threat.