Garden City Community College head men’s basketball coach Patrick Nee may need to put out an APB for his offense.
After the Broncbusters opened the season with four-consecutive games scoring 90-plus points and putting up better than 1.18 points per possession each time, the offense has seemed to disappear since.
And in turn, the Busters are 2-4 since, including their worst offensive effort of the season in Saturday’s 80-61 loss to Allen at Conestoga Arena.
“I think we’re getting good looks,” Nee said. “Right now, what everybody is doing is clogging the lane, not letting us get inside. If you put five guys in the paint and you can’t make a jump shot, that’s a problem.”
A big one.
The Busters (6-4, 1-1) shot just 32.3 percent from the field (28 of 71) and hit just 4-of-21 3-pointers. That left a lot of rebounds to haul in, and the Red Devils (10-1, 2-0) dominated that battle, 57-34.
All that resulted in the Busters scoring just 0.82 points per possession, their worst since prior to the 2017-18 season.
“North Platte did it to us the first time (clogging the paint), and it kind of exposed us a little bit — that’s the way to beat us,” Nee said. “If you clog the lane and make Garden City shoot jump shots, we’re going to struggle, and that’s what’s happened.”
Since North Platte, the Busters have broken 1.0 points per possession just once, scoring 1.01 in a 75-61 win at McCook (Neb.). Even Wednesday’s 76-63 win at Cloud County was just an average offensive performance (0.99).
“It just can’t be that every time we struggle from the 3-point line equals a loss,” Nee said. “If that’s going to happen, it’s going to be a major disappointment for a lot of people.”
The Busters began the game not needing to hit very many shots, decimating Allen’s offense with a tough-nosed and varied defense, which focused on Allen’s offensive engine, guard Perry Carroll, who finished with just nine points.
But the offense never came for Garden City, resulting in Allen take a 33-25 lead at the half.
“I felt like as a coach I made a mistake and kinda got panicky, because we weren’t scoring much,” Nee said. “I never heard of a team holding a team to 28 percent in the first half and being down 8, but that’s where we were.”
And then in the second half, Allen shot 46.7 percent from the field, taking full control of the game.
Darius Love led the Devils with 20 points, while Jakobi Pearson had 13 points for the Busters, but on 4-of-14 shooting.
Daishun Woods added 10 points as the only other double-digit scorer for Garden City.
Contact J. Levi Burnfin at email@example.com.