Chris Perry knew he would have to wait until the end of the season to grade his first year as Boyd head coach. Right now, the tests are getting harder by the night.
The Broncos have hit a rough patch on the schedule, dropping five straight to fall to 6-14 overall. Last week, Boyd played its two toughest opponents to date, falling to Lighthouse Christian 85-31 and Franklin Christian 101-54.
Perry, who took over the team in the summer, is trying to judge his team by its growth instead of the scoreboard nightly.
“The message is this – just as in financial investing, it can be scary if you look at it short term. There are peaks and valleys. The goal is long-term growth,” said Perry. “That applies to this season and to the program as a whole. I have reminded them that I am new to this level of basketball.
“We’re seeing the lingering effects of coaching changes – no clarity of message, no true knowledge of style of play, no identity. There are things I took for granted a team this experienced should know that they didn’t. That’s obviously on me.”
Boyd nearly righted the ship at Christian Community behind a career-high 29 points from Joel Smith, but the Broncos fell 70-63. Since then, it has been a tough slate facing Lighthouse, Franklin Christian and the Chattanooga Patriots, who beat Boyd 67-35.
It’s all part of playing in the Middle Tennessee Athletic Conference.
“It goes without saying that the competition level in the MTAC is greater than what people may assume. Lighthouse has kids ranked in the state. Franklin has been good for over a decade and etc.,” said Perry.
Not helping matters was losing senior Jamison Brock to a head injury. His ball-handling and senior leadership were a steadying presence, one not easily replaced when he’s sidelined. There’s hope Brock can return soon for the final stretch of games.
While it’s been a rough patch, Perry hasn’t lost faith. He’s actually been impressed by his team’s growing grasp on team basketball.
“We have improved in understanding what it takes to really play basketball at a high level. We aren’t doing it yet, but we can identify it. Real basketball isn’t 1-on-1 at the Civic Center or blacktop on NBA 2K. It’s team-oriented, consistency and intelligent effort,” said Perry. “I love these kids. They are good men. We have to keep reminding ourselves we are playing a game meant to be fun and we get to do it with people we care about.”
Boyd will be looking to snap its skid when it travels to take on Monterey Monday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.