Sometimes teams need to shake things up to produce the desired results.
That certainly appears to be the case for the Sunrockers Shibuya, who were nearly a .500 team last season (28-32) but stumbled out of the gates to open the ongoing B. League campaign.
Assistant coach Tsutomu Isa was promoted to head coach in late October, when the team was 1-7. He replaced Geoffrey Katsuhisa, who was let go after one-plus season in charge.
Coinciding with the coaching change, the Sunrockers have improved dramatically. After going 2-8 in October, they went 6-3 in November. Sunday’s 80-57 demolition of the San-en NeoPhoenix raised their record to 12-12.
Shooting guard Tomoya Hasegawa said the team is now “starting over again.”
It’s “like a new season,” he stated. After a poor start, he added, “the team had to pay off its debt” and get a balanced slate again.
Several Shibuya players on Sunday said the team’s offensive system has been streamlined, with veteran center Robert Sacre describing it as more read and react and less thinking.
Isa’s methods are working.
“It’s just a free kind of offense and it’s good to see,” Sacre told The Japan Times. “Everything is upbeat and sharp and really fast in practice. Practices are sharp and we are just in and out, and guys are working hard and it’s good to see that.”