Thursday, January 12, 2012

Canisius Report: Washington, Team Adjusting

Here's another in the series looking at men's programs through the eyes of their respective coach ...

Up now ...


The Golden Griffins are 0-5 in league play and 3-12 overall.

"This is a crazy league," said Tom Parrotta. "We feel that we can be a contender when all things shake out. We've had some issues to overcome, not the least was an early (back) injury to Gabby Belardo (the team's lone returning starter from a year ago), and that has stunted our growth and experience. We've been in games with chances to win at times but haven't been able to punch through on a consistent basis.

"That said, there are some good things going on. We've got a good and dynamic player in (junior) Harold Washington (a junior college transfer). (Alshwan) Hynes is doing an admirable job, although our turnovers are up and that's a concern. Chris Manhertz, Kevin Bleecker and Josiah Heath are doing a real good job considering their limited experience. But Gabby's back injury caught us at an inopportune time. He's going to have to play through it. You can see he's laboring ... he's about 60 percent right now, and I don't know if it will get anywhere near 100 percent this year. But he's our most-experienced player and he's got to find a way to get through it."

"Washington is a fantastic basketball player. The bad news is that he's also a wonderful kid, and we need him to be more of a guy who's a little selfish in a good way. He can take over games, but he's a new guy who defers to others. He has to turn into the guy on nights when we're laboring to score. We simply want him to be more aggressive from an offensive standpoint. He can score a lot of points.

"It's a daily thing trying to get him to that point. We have to pull him asie regularly, tell him how much we need him. It speaks to his character. I'm not sure if he's comfortable in that role at this time, but I state our expectations for him clearly. Everyone on our team knows what they're supposed to do, but Harold comes from the junior college ranks and gets thrust into a very good conference with a lot of good guards. It's something we'll continue to work on, but I don't want to understate what he's done for us so far, and his best days are to come. There are games when you don't think he's done enough, and you look at the stat sheet ... 24 points, 6 assists and just 2 turnovers and he's been out there for 34 minutes ... and I still think his best days are to come."

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