Last season, the North Dallas High boys basketball team were led in scoring by Kobe Wrice and Darius Watts. But Wrice and Watts have graduated.
This is a new year and a new team. New head basketball coach Jeremy Mason and assistant coach Eric Gracia are looking for a more balanced team effort when it comes to scoring.
North Dallas plays at Roosevelt at 8 p.m. Tuesday night. The junior varsity game is at 6:30 p.m. Roosevelt High School is at 525 Bonnie View Road in Oak Cliff.
In the Bulldogs’ recent 50-43 victory over Life Oak Cliff, Christian Armstrong scored 16 points, followed by Paul Gandara with 10 points, Jerry Price with 8 and Tony Latham with 6.
While trying to get the players to improve their skills, the North Dallas coaches are also installing a system to play together as a team.
“It’s one ball and five guys playing. All five guys should be threats,” Mason said recently. “If I had Kobe and Darius, they would’ve played the same way that I coach. They would’ve never got 20 to 30 shots apiece a game. Never. Because I don’t coach that way. I believe everybody needs to be a threat.”
The players have to learn to shoot, especially if they are open — and make the shots, Mason said. If they miss the open shots, then they need to work on their shooting in practice.
“Offensively, I don’t know that we have anybody out here, maybe besides Christian Armstrong, that could go get 20,” Mason said. “But if the ball rotates to you and you’re open, you’ve got to take it and make that shot. At least take it because the defense has to account for you. It’s an offense where everybody is supposed to be involved. “
Mason said each player needs to try to get the best open shot they can get — or pass the ball.
“I could care less about one guy who can go get me 50. At lot of times, those guys are hard to coach,” Mason said. “I’d rather have guys that have to do it collectively. You have to do it collectively on the defensive end, rebounding. You have to do it collectively on the offensive end, sharing the ball and crashing the offensive glass. We got to do it collectively for guys on the bench who don’t play very much, you still have to be engaged. Everybody has a role. They have to go in at some point.
Every player needs to know everybody’s role,” Mason said.
“That’s probably the most difficult thing for them to understand. It’s going to take all five of us. There is no Kobe, there is no Darius. Ultimately, it’s all five of us to be a part of something.”