The early-season woes continue for the Miami Dade College men’s basketball team. After a 1-8 start, which features a seven-game losing streak, the team is struggling to find answers defensively.
Their woes have translated to diminished success in most of the major statistical categories compared to last season.
The Sharks are averaging 98.8 points per game, down from last year’s average of 108.1 points. Their rebounding totals have also dropped. They’re averaging 11 fewer rebounds per game (37.6) this season.
Despite the struggles, head coach Kevin Ledoux remains resolute that the team can turn it around.
“Right now, we’re playing the toughest schedule in the country,” Ledoux said. “We need to use this time as a learning experience so we can grow as a team. Most of our games have been close up until the last three minutes where we let off the gas.”
The Sharks’ schedule has featured matchups against first-ranked Northwest Florida State College; they lost 117-102 on Nov. 24. The team’s lone win came against then 22nd-ranked Georgia Highlands College on Nov. 3.
“This has been a hard test for us, but I know the team,” Ledoux said. “We’re a family and we’re going to play like one.”
Amid the woes, the team has suffered defensive breakdowns that can be attributed to a lack of communication. Though it takes time to develop chemistry to play in Ledoux’s aggressive defensive system, the team has been unable to capitalize on their switches due to poorly timed rotations. It’s something Ledoux said he will address in practice.
“The results haven’t been what we’d like them to be,” said sophomore guard and team captain, Arseniy Andreev. “It’s been a test for us, on and off the court, but what’s important is that we’ve stayed together and have avoided pointing fingers.”
Andreev has also struggled on the court. Last year he averaged eight points and 4.6 assists per game, but in his sophomore campaign, both categories have dropped to 4.7 points and three assists per game.
Ledoux, to his credit, has been able to maintain cohesion in the locker room. Losses tend to chisel away at team chemistry, but with the help of his captains, the team has been able to keep every player invested in the future, rather than dwelling on the past.
“Like I said, we’ve been tested through this stretch,” Ledoux said. “But I know that we’ll get better. Had we had last year’s schedule, we would probably be a one-loss team. We’re going to adapt, we’re going to grow and I know we’ll play to our potential.”
The Sharks’ next game is Dec. 5 versus Red Devils Academy at 7 p.m. at the Theodore R. Gibson Health Center, 11011 S.W. 104 St.