Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Take advantage of your strengths and hide your weaknesses

After winning AP national coach of the year honors last season at Drake, first-year Providence coach Keno Davis, son of longtime Iowa coach Dr. Tom Davis, guided the Friars to an 81-73 upset win over Pitt last week.

According to this story in "The Daily Orange," an independent student newspaper for Syracuse University, upon arriving at Providence in April of last year, Coach Davis "retooled his team's offensive and defensive systems" and "learned to adjust to the athletes' playing style."

"You have your basic principles that you want to stick to," Davis said. "But you also make sure that you want to take advantage of the strengths of your team and try to hide your weaknesses as much as you can."

According to the Daily Orange piece, Providence's "weaknesses were hard to hide at first. The season started slow: An ominous manner with a 70-66 loss to Northeastern. But instead of telling the team to be better for the next game, Davis adjusted his goals for the Friars."

"By the time the conference rolls around we have to improve," Davis said. "Not only did we set out a goal for improvement, we put a timeline by it and explained it to the team at what level we felt like we needed to be at to be able to compete against the best of the Big East."

Says senior guard Weyinmi Efejuku, Coach Davis doesn't pull any punches.

"He doesn't sugar coat it but he tells us we're talented players," Efejuku said. "He tells us to play our strengths and puts us in great positions to use our strengths. He's just very effective in his strategies and it's working out well."