"It's All About The Game"

DCA appears on solid footing






Ron Bailey, Publisher

Shakeup alters coaching lineup.


June 3, 2013 - After an early season travel team shakeup of its 17u Gold team's coaching staff, DC Assault's flagship team seemed in a state of flux; questions remained as to just how good this crew, typically one of the best in American, would fare this year, and whether organizationally, DC Assault was on stable ground .

A trip to Hampton, VA around May 18th seemed to quash that speculation, as Assault ripped through the Southern jam Invitational, taking home championship honors. In fact the 17u Gold team joined DCA's 16u and 15u teams in doing so.

So, what happened and how has the 17u Gold unit's coaching staff emerged?

The latter first; longtime DCA coach Butch Cherry is now the head man, flanked by Torry Farrington and James Bryson. When the July open period arrives, Farrington will return as head coach of the 17u Blue team, with DCA founder Curtis Malone replacing him. Bryson, a former Villanova standout with international playing and local junior college coaching experience, will remain throughout.

Butch Cherry, coaching a DCA 17u practice.

DCA's Director of Basketball Operations, Damon Handon, last Wednesday noted the coaching change was effectuated to "shake things up". He went on to say the Southern Jam Fest was "The first time our three (top) teams won a championship at the same time", was a product of working hard over the preceding two weeks.

Furthermore Handon noted "I think the kids had a chip on their shoulders...they think they are better than a rival organization's second team". For the record, DCA 17u Gold's playoff loss to Team Takeover 17u Orange at the Philly Jam Fest precipitated the change.

Several practices with Cherry in charge have revealed a down to earth coaching manner, though don't get it twisted, he's demanding and holds players accountable for both scheme and effort. No matter who is involved, they must meet his exacting standards, or will be removed; last week's practice saw several players exchanged for not adhering to principles/intensity standards. The little things were important.

He was not alone, as both Farrington and Bryson followed suit: When a player lost focus of zone principles, and continued to do so Cherry immediately informed "Get him out of there" . Bryson stopped the half court session several times to teach - both verbally and by exhibition - the need to clear an offensive zone before cuts. Farrington did the same, noting attitude and activity were lacking defensively

"Well, it really wasn't that hard, because even though I wasn't coaching the guys, i was around them every tournament and every practice" later said Cherry on his transition to the first chair, "I knew their strengths and weaknesses".

Maximizing those pros and cons is important to Cherry, who uses a time tested method doing so - making sure players have to answer: You have to figure, that's the one thing you have to do is hold them accountable. When they go to major colleges, or colleges in general, those coaches are gong to ho them accountable".

Since the Southern Jam Fest, DCA's headliner squad made the quarterfinals of UA's Invitational. The organization's 16u and 15u made that Dallas tourney's quarterfinals and championship games in their age groups, respectively, with the latter taking home another 'chip.

Going forward, DCA 17u Gold players will compete in July's open period camps, and as a unit are scheduled to participate in the DC Assault Classic, Milwaukee's Summer Jam, while finishing up their season at Las Vegas' Fab 48.

Of that last event, a national level confab in Sin City, Cherry is bullish, as he believes "Hopefully, with everybody intact...I think we should win it. One thing about our July schedule, it gives us a lot of time to get in the gym and work on stuff".

It looks like DCA's flagship team is on solid footing.


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