Vince Lombardi once said ‘Winning is a habit, unfortunately, so is losing’ for the Guildford Heat losing seems to have become their habit, having played 10 BBL games so far this season and losing all 10 it’s hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel. The Heat’s first game of the season saw an overtime loss to the Plymouth Raiders while their last game saw them narrowly defeated by the Leicester Riders off a buzzer beater by Cameron Rundles.
That game also saw Tayo hit 1000 career BBL points, but im sure he would sacrifice all those points for his team to finally get a win, he even Tweeted himself ‘@Tayotweets: 1000pts plus in this league yet still feel unaccomplished….massively.’
The good news for Heat fans however, their doing something about this current streak, Kandi Mukole is out & Hermann Opoku has been released, while Brandon Shingles, who at some points has played well this season, is also gone due to a lack of chemistry so far this season. Signings are happening too, Mike Copeland, last season Glasgow Rocks standout has been signed but has not yet taken part in any games, Shaun Durant was signed on the 4th November in-time for their clash with the Riders while today American point guard Drew Lasker a 29-year-old formerly of the Plymouth Raiders and Newcastle Eagles has also been signed, while others changes can also happen before their next BBL game.
Coach Creon Raftopoulo feels that part of his teams early season problems have been the Heat’s schedule “We’ve played 10 games and some teams haven’t played close to that.”, take a look yourselves, the Heat have already played 5 BBL Championship games so far this season, as well as 4 Trophy and 1 Cup game, a total of 10 games, some teams have only played 6 or 7, as well as this the Heat will go 4 weeks without another game while other squads will continue to distance themselves from the bottom-of-the-pack Heat.
So what is the solution?
The ever consistent Mike Martin will continue to produce near double-double numbers currently averaging around 16 points per game, 8 rebounds and a couple of assists, including a season high 14 rebounds against the Plymouth Raiders and 22 points against the Wolves.
Julius Joseph has steadily improved through-out the season and is currently averaging 13.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in the BBL Championship.
Tayo Ogendengbe is averaging a solid 18.2 points and 5.8 rebounds across 5 BBL Championship games but had just 9 points and 2 rebounds in the loss against the Riders.
These guys are all solid players, and the additions of Mike Copeland and Drew Lasker should give this team depth as well as a solid core who can easily make up for the 5 losses so far. They may be out of the Trophy and Cup, but this will allow them to focus on Championship games and allow them to keep fit closer to season end.
With no true leader at the Point Guard position so far, this team has struggled, this team averages a mere 13.2 assists per game, but turn’s the ball over 14.8 times that’s 1.12 turnover per assist, and doing that while connecting on just 24/84 attempts from beyond the 3 point line is a recipe for disaster, those numbers equate to 16.8 three-point attempts per game with only 4.8 going through the hoop.
Hopefully the addition of Drew will provide this team with veteran leadership as well as someone who can run this team effectively while the addition of Shaun Durant and Mike Copeland along with Mike Martin and Tayo Ogendengbe they will also hopefully be able to keep their opponents off the glass, while being able to score at a massive rate.
With the talent available the Heat should not be at 0 – 10 they should at least be 5 – 5 but due to bad circumstances they see themselves clawing their way out of a hole, a very big hole, but recent additions and an attitude that says ‘we have nothing else to lose and were the under dogs!’ this team should be able to get themselves out of this losing-streak and back to respectability.
Look for the Heat to end their BBL losing streak soon as they take on the Worcester Wolves on the 4th December in a home clash, in the mean-time those of you that do follow the Heat will get a chance to see your new-look squad take on the Brixton Topcats this coming Sunday in a friendly at the Surrey Sports Park, for tickets head over to http://www.seatadvisor.eu/SurreySportsParkBooking.htm
Sam Raphael Chadwick is currently an Assistant Quantity Surveyor, Part-Time University Student and Co-Head Coach of the Solent Kestrels Under 14’s, I also contribute for www.ballineurope.com you can find me on twitter @chadwick9