College Hoops: Davidson seeks improvement before Region X tourney

Jan. 27, 2014 @ 10:18 AM

After falling for a second time this season to Caldwell Community College Wednesday night, Davidson County Community College's chances of winning the Region X regular season turned very slim.
Unlike last year, it doesn't really matter in the long run.
In 2013, the regular season champion was awarded a berth to the district tournament along with the winner of the conference tournament. But that scenario only comes around every three years, meaning the only one to advance from Region X this season will be the one that wins the tournament.
“That was only a one-year deal.” said DCCC head coach Matt Ridge. “There are four teams that go to districts and there are three regions. They are on a rotating basis and last year was our turn to get two teams. Everything now is really a practice for the regionals. The regular season is basically bragging rights and seeding purposes.”
That is great news for the Storm, who can mathematically tie for a championship if they win out. But if they cannot do that, no worries. What it all boils down to is winning a regional tournament title.
Of course, if they do not fix their significant rebounding problems, winning a championship will be out of the equation.
DCCC has the smallest frontcourt in the league, with C.J. Woodberry being the tallest option at 6-5. In the nonconference slate the Storm were winning by such wide margins, rebounding did not factor in as much. Now that conference play is in its second round, it is becoming a glaring problem each night. For the season Davidson has outrebounded its opponents by a mere seven boards – a rebounding edge that is evaporating with each passing game.
“Rebounding is two things – height and will,” said Ridge. “At this point we cannot do anything about the team's height, but we are just gonna have to play bigger than we are and work hard for three seconds when the ball is shot. We can control how hard we compete for those three or four seconds. We have got to value blocking out, being physical and owning space. This team is not going to jump over people. We have to own space to rebound the ball. We've been outrebounded every game since Christmas break and have been barely getting by beating teams. We've told them 1,000 times it is going to catch up to you. It caught up to us at Caldwell.”
What the Storm does well is to score the basketball. They continue to hold an average of more than 100 points per night. Steals is another key area for the Storm. They average 13.4 thefts a night and can really harass the other team on defense. If they can somehow figure out how to at least break even in rebounding, there is a real chance the Storm will be representing Region X at the district tournament.

Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or kepley@tvilletimes.com.