Defence Becoming Identity Of Orangeville Prep
Orangeville Prep played a double header this week against Canadian competition, in both matchups the revamped roster of head coach Larry Blunt dismantled the opposition.
Tuesday night in Waterloo, ON the depth paid dividends defeating St. John Kilmarnock 110-44. The following afternoon in front of a packed Orangeville District Secondary School gymnasium Orangeville Prep obliterated the Pine Ridge Pumas 86-35. Both 50 plus point victories improved Orangeville Prep’s record on Canadian soil to 3-0.
We knew entering this season the talent on Orangeville would be capable of putting up points, however overshadowed is their potential on the defensive end.
“Were very deep offensively so defense is our priority,” Jamal Murray told Hoops Hype Canada “Were clearly offensively talented so we are really trying to focus on defense, different types of schemes, traps and different stuff like that.” Murray added
UNLV letterman Jalen Poyser known for his scoring prowess also reiterated the defensive identity that head coach Larry Blunt and staff are trying to implement, “I feel like our defense is getting better. Coach always tells us is we got to keep teams under 25 in the first half and under 50 for the game,” Posyer said.
The Bears from Orangeville are talking the talk and walking the walk. In the second half versus SJK they held SJK to only ten points. SJK head coach Borko Popic on his club’s scoring struggles, “Alot of it was there defense but part of it was we missed a ton of shots that we should make and did in the first half,” Popic said. “We just hit a wall in the second half and obviously their depth in the second half contributed to our fatigue and we were short our starting guard.” Popic said referring to the absence of 2015 6’0” guard Christopher Thompson.
“The result is what it is, it was great experience for us and shows our guys the level that’s out there and how much harder we have to work.” Coach Popic reiterated.
Popic also mentioned SJK will bring some more high level basketball to the Waterloo-Region with already games scheduled against high level programs in the works for later on this season.
O’ Prep then had a homecoming of sorts in Orangeville in front of their student faculty the next day. Stomping grounds of where the boy’s attend school. This time the opponent was different; highly touted Pine Ridge but the results remained the same – Opponents held to under fifty, 30 plus blocked shots and another fifty point victory.
30-year old head coach Larry Blunt offered an explanation on what makes their defense so stifling,
“Were fortunate we have a lot of length. Our entire staff have really harped defense. Our length allows us to make up and recover because we are fortunate to be so long.” Said Blunt.
Regarding their offense Blunt says that the final tally of points is secondary and that sharing is caring, “We look more at the assists then the total points,” Blunt preached. “We think if we can keep our assists number up that means the ball is being shared and a lot of guys get touches. When the ball is moving I think we can score and it’s pretty evident that when we do that we can be fun to watch and special.”
Any day now the much anticipated national schedule for Orangeville Prep will be released. Rumors has it that the squad will give Montverde Academy, reigning national champions in America, who as of Friday have six games featured on ESPNU will give them a run for that number. Until then Coach Blunt will continue to use Canadian soil as a playground for preparations.
Next up for Orangeville Prep is another Canadian opponent Wednesday November 19th versus Bill Crothers (Markham) and then Saturday November 22nd versus Sir Alan Macnab (Hamilton). Both game’s will be on their home court up north.
HOME SWEET HOME
Tuesday night versus St. John Kilmarnock was a home coming for Kitchener, Ontario native Jamal Murray. Murray had the opportunity showcase his stuff in a Orangeville Prep uniform in front of friends and family close to where he grew up. Murray the number one ranked player in Canada for the 2016 class transferred from Grand River to Athlete Institute in the fall of 2013.
“It felt good taking pictures with everybody I know, seeing family and friends. It’s good to have a home game once in a while and get back to home base but after this it’s strictly business” Murray shared.
In the 110-44 blowout he sat the entire fourth quarter but still finished with 26 points.