NPH CIS Team Previews: Acadia Axemen
This season, Acadia wants to peak at the right time and shoot for the moon.
Head coach: Kevin Duffie
Record in 2014: 5-15 (Seventh in AUS Conference)
Playoffs: No playoffs
Points scored per game: 73.6
Points allowed per game: 78.4
Key players: Ben Miller, Nick Ernest, Rhys Larry, Erik Nissen
Key losses: Sean Stoqua
Welcome to the AUS, the league where sometimes a win is worth two points and sometimes a win is worth four points.
“It’s more a mind jerk than anything else,” Acadia Axemen Kevin Duffie says. “But you have to approach every game the same way.”
In Duffie’s mind, there are more important games than the four-point games. “If you can win some games on the road,” especially at a place like Cape Breton, which the farthest from Acadia, he says, “then that’s the sign of a good team.”
Key games: at Memorial Sea-Hawks, January 9 and 10
VS Dalhousie, Nov. 21; at Dalhousie, Jan. 30
This year, the Acadia Axemen are shooting for the Moon. It’s true: remember that Neil Armstrong about taking a small step that signifies a big one for humanity? Head coach Kevin Duffie tells NPH that, “That’s what we’re living by, just small, incremental improvements.” In his second season at the helm of the Axemen, he hopes to make small changes that will drastically affect his team’s results, with the goal of playing its best basketball in March.
With only one important player leaving the team, Duffie can rely on roster continuity to increase the level of “team preparedness,” as he calls it.
“We’re having a little more experience,” he says, “in knowing what has to be done when.” He also believes he has a player, in point guard Ben Miller, who can eventually become every bit the superstar that Owen Klassen was.
Duffie wants his team to win enough games during the season to give itself a chance in the playoffs.
“That’s the beauty of basketball in March. You get hot and start playing well,” he says, “all of a sudden you’re right there.”
The Dalhousie Tigers rode that formula a year ago; maybe it’s the Axemen’s turn in 2015-2016?