Sunday, January 29, 2017

At Savannah State, ex-Hoya Horace Broadnax speeds things up

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- When he was a player under legendary Georgetown coach John Thompson Jr., Horace Broadnax was a part of teams known for their ruthless defense. You had to earn points against those Hoyas — during their tournament run to the 1984 NCAA title, they allowed more than 50 just once, in the championship game against Houston, which had a pretty good center named Hakeem Olajuwon.

Those Hoyas also had a pretty good center in Patrick Ewing. Broadnax was the backup point guard, and thus was intimately familiar with Thompson’s defensive principles.

Broadnax would soon follow Thompson into coaching, leveraging those strict defensive tenets into three Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference coach of the year awards, including most recently in 2011-12 at Savannah State, directing the Tigers to the National Invitational Tournament for the first time in program history.

This past offseason, Broadnax decided to scrap the defense-first approach, at least temporarily. In its place, he installed a frenetic attack built around spreading out an opponent and taking the quickest uncontested shot available, preferably a three-pointer in transition.

After what Broadnax described as a rough go to the start the season, his players have taken to the offensive overhaul in recent weeks, with Savannah State on a five-game winning streak. Included in that run was a 73-70 victory over Howard on Saturday at Burr Gymnasium to keep the Tigers (9-12, 6-2) in the hunt for the MEAC regular season title.


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