Gradual improvement is the name of the game for Scotland’s struggling varsity basketball team, who have been held without a win thus far in the 2012-13 season. With a last-minute cancellation to their holiday basketball tournament, the Fighting Scots will not take the court again until the second week of January, giving the team ample time to focus on making potentially season-saving adjustments.
But during the extended break between games, two new additions to the squad have given Scotland cause for optimism heading into the most critical stretch of their run beginning in 2013.
Joining the team will be Artemis Robinson and Tyron Jones, two standout senior athletes who shined on the football field this past season. Expected to split time as a guard and forward this season, Robinson will be relied upon to utilize his leadership and versatility to give Scotland an immediate jolt. Jones, meanwhile, is a gifted post-player that can block shots and secure rebounds in equal abundance, two areas in which the Scots are lacking.
According to head basketball coach Jackie Amos, both Robinson and Jones will be in the Scotland rotation once students return from the holiday break.
“They are both excellent athletes that will do nothing but help us improve,” Amos said. Robinson and Jones were both members of the varsity basketball team last season.
“Hopefully with those guys returning to the fold, it will make our team immediately competitive,” he said.
Scotland’s last game of 2012 came against Cape Fear Dec. 14 at home, which saw the Scots play their most competitive game this season in a 49-40 loss.
After a first half that saw Scotland score just 14 points, the Scots picked up the pace offensively in the third and fourth quarters, led by forward/center Maseo Graham’s team-high 12 points and nine rebounds. But ultimately, the Colts did just enough to pull out the victory to send Scotland to a disappointing 0-6 record.
Other notable Scotland contributions came from Tasheem Tyson and Tralen Jones, who had six points each, as well as five points from senior center Aly Kaba.
“Our intensity and effort was definitely there in that game,” Amos said after the loss. “I was pleased with how hard we played, but I’ve said it all season long that our execution has to get better before we can start winning games.”
Looking ahead to Jan. 11’s conference home game against Purnell Swett, Amos believes that his team must understand their roles as individual and team players before success can be found this season.
“Right now, we’re just focused on ironing out the kinks and getting prepared,” Amos said. “We have to get this team on the same page, and hopefully they learn to do what’s expected of them at each position. If my guys deviate from their roles on the team, we’ll continue to struggle.”