SUMMIT, NJ - Despite relatively little preparation time, and the fact that at they are being led by their third different Head Coach in three years, the Summit Varsity Basketball Team has opened their season with two consecutive wins as they embark on the 2013-14 season. After beating New Providence 62-46, the Hilltoppers defeated Oratory Prep 56-40.
Of course, having Jim Davidson as the Head Coach essentially eliminates any first-year coaching conversation before it begins, as the iconic Davidson appears to be equally at home -- and adroit -- on the hardwood as he is patrolling the sideline of the lacrosse field.
Indeed, Davidson's basketball DNA and coaching skill set are key success factors as the team -- which did not formally gather until early December -- is in the early stages of a chemistry experiment which will see the Hilltoppers develop their identity on the fly.
"We have not had a lot of practice time, as football's title run meant we did not get some of the players until the second week of December, then we had a snow day," said Davidson. "So right now we are working on implementing our systems, building chemistry and familiarity, which will come through focus, hard work and repetition."
Like any Jim Davidson-coached team, expect solid fundamentals to be at the core of the basketball squad's success. "Our goal is to be fundamentally sound in all areas of the game," said Davidson.
For now, the starting line-up looks to be:
Wayne Wong (Point Guard)
Kyle Crotty (Guard)
Mac Wiesner (Forward)
Matt Fischetti (Forward)
Robbie Walsh (Center)
The tall and athletic front line, all returning from last season's team, appears to be the team's strength, however point guard looked to be a question mark, as replacing Ba'Shawn Mickens is a tall order. Judging from his performance versus New Providence, however, Sophomore Wong looks to have answered "the point guard question". A dynamic ball handler, solid distributor, and tough defender, Wong comfortably runs an offense Davidson says will be, "A pattern offense, where the players will read and react within the system."
Team Captain Walsh is -- literally and figuratively -- a big presence inside, and Wiesner went off for 16 if his 20 points in the second half against New Providence, using a combination of three-balls and power drives to the basket. Expect the scoring to be balanced, with different members of Davidson's team stepping up on a night-by-night basis.
Fans should expect a rugged, man-to-man defense that -- when combined with the Hilltoppers tall front line -- will give the opposition fits. Strong defense is a hallmark of every Davidson-coached unit, and the Hoop team will be no exception to that rule.
Davidson is joined on the bench by Assistant Coaches Chris Freisen and Dave Field. Field also handles the Head Coaching role on the Junior Varsity. The Freshman team will be led by Tim Simo, assisted by Don Standing.
The Hilltoppers are next in action at their own Holiday Tournament December 26 @ 4 p.m. versus Piscataway Tech. The tournament, which also features Morristown and Watchung Hills, concludes with the consolation and championship games on December 28 at 4 and 7 p.m., respectively.
The next Summit home games, post-Holiday Tournament, are January 9 and 10, versus Jonathon Dayton and Arthur L. Johnson.