11-33 was last season’s overall record for the Mississauga Power; dead last in the NBL Canada standings.
But when you’re at the bottom, the only way to go is up.
And while the season has yet to kick off, the Power have been preparing to finalize their roster–one that will feature Mississauga, Ontario’s own Tut Ruach, Toronto’s Alex Johnson, and NBLC Veteran Morgan Lewis–the team’s leading scorer.
Ruach, 29 and in the prime of his career, will facilitate and look to steer the ship, alongside Lewis and Johnson.
Ruach has produced at every level he’s played at, and took on the challenge against Brandon Jennings this summer at the OVO Bounce tournament, where he excelled.
“I want to establish myself as one of the better guards in the country,” Ruach told North Pole Hoops.
The 6’2 guard made it clear that Power Head Coach Kyle Julius was the main reason he’s back with the team, after his time with the franchise (2011-2012) in Oshawa.
“He’s the biggest reason that I decided to stay home. We’ve worked together over the years and I like his philosophy; I don’t think anybody will be above the team,” explained Ruach, referring to his new Coach.
Alex Johnson–who has participated in workouts with Julius and the Power leading up to training camp–agrees with this philosophy.
“It’s been a no non-sense attitude and you need that. The rules are set, and they are fair,” stated Johnson, who lead the Power in distribution, averaging 5.9 assists, along with 9.5 points and 3.2 rebounds.
Julius’ first priority from the day he got on board was to build a winning culture.
“Evaluating character has been an emphasis…its incredible how difficult it is to earn a pro spot anywhere in the world, and character is usually a major factor in the decision process,” explained Julius.
“We want guys that will bring true value to the organization on and off the floor.”
Julius stated that the support provided by Power GM John Wiggins and staff have been key in this building process.
As for player chemistry, Johnson and Ruach have never been on the same team for a full season, however they did play for A-Game Hoops Mens team last August, against eventual NCAA Final 4 participant, Wisconsin Badgers–interestingly it was Julius that was head coach of that team.
“We have a good feel for each other–against Wisconsin, he showed me we could definitely be a deadly back court,” said Johnson.
6’5 shooting guard Morgan Lewis lead the Power in scoring last season at 17 PPG, good for 13th in the league.
Lewis is a super athletic wing with length, that still seems to only be scratching the surface, due to the combination of his high upside and the attention to detail that Julius brings to the table on the skill development end.
We are near the end of September and the Mississauga Power training camp is right around the corner, but the preliminary work for shaping the 2014-2015 roster started months ago.
The culture, which is being implemented, is an ongoing process but starts with identifying “ideal” personnel.
“We want to have players on this team that come early and stay late without having to tell them, and have a true skill set,” explained Julius.
Studying film, daily work outs, and evaluating performances on players across North America–this is routine for the Mississauga contingent.
The Power will have their work cut out for them in climbing the NBLC ladder, as the talent is improving by the year, and organizations are getting stronger.
For Mississauga, it’s a new team and a new culture.