Can less be more for Hartsville this season?
By Drake Horton , Contributing Writer
Sometimes less is more and not all change is a bad thing. At least the Hartsville Red Foxes boys’ basketball team is hoping that is the case.
After bringing in a new assistant coaching staff, having two of its tops players transfer out and not to mention the seniors that graduated it could be seen as Hartsville is in a rebuilding mode, but head coach Yusuf English does not believe that is the case.
In actuality, he believes this year’s team is going to be better and he believes it is because the pieces fit better together.
“I think we are a better team this year than last year; last year we had better talent,” English said. “The pieces fit together.”
Missing from last year’s team is Darius Rhodes and Terrence Mack, two guards that are starting at their respective schools with Rhodes at Wilson and Mack at Trinity-Byrnes.
While the losses of Rhodes and Mack may appear to the naked eye as something of a division between the coach and the players, according to English that is far from the truth. Instead, he said he loves both of the players, but believes that it was time for everybody to move on.
A big thing that English is trying to change this year is the culture of his basketball team; changing a culture is never an easy task, according to English.
“It is extremely hard to change culture,” English said. “I started chipping away little by little.”
Last year, English’s first year as Hartsville’s head coach, the Red Foxes showed some promise, making it back to the playoff before being eliminated by Wilson.
It was that loss that helped give English the platform he needed to reiterate his family mantra and explain to them that the selfishness they had last year was what hindered them from having more success and if they could embrace doing more team possessions, instead of individual possessions, they would win.
“I have a bunch of kids of that can score 30 but if we all score 15, we win,” English said.
Most importantly, English wants all of his players to understand that there are going to be times when they all need each other and he wants them to be able to count on one another.
“There are times in life when a person is going to need you and you are going to need them,” English said.
English wants year two to be very different from year one and the changes he has made in the off season are examples of his willingness to do what it takes to make it happen.
One thing will not change, however, no matter what other changes are done. That is the goal that he sets at the start of each season.
“I set the same goal every year and that is to win a state championship and nothing has changed,” English said.