Flyers land Zach Simmons from North Texas
Posted: Friday, July 16th 2021
Thursday, September 8th 2016
The British summer may be over but don't fret, Flyers basketball is back!
Following last season's failure to reach the BBL playoffs I predicted that coach Kapoulas would try to rebuild over the summer adding significant depth to the roster and that's exactly what he's done.
The re-capture of Daniel Edozie alongside five new summer signings sends a message to the league that Flyers are serious about winning.
Mike Krzyzewski's approach to modern basketball seen in Rio this summer is reflected in the new look Flyers; Daniel Edozie in the middle surrounded by a trio of mobile forwards in Lovell Cook, Leslee Smith and Michael Vigor who are all able to play multiple positions from 3 through 5. Versitily is the goal here, added physicality across every position on the floor aims to present multiple match-up problems for the opposition.
We may see Edozie and Smith playing power forward and centre interchangeably especially given rumours of Edozie significantly improving his mid range jump shot over the summer in order to punish teams from the elbow and short corner.
Ball handling has been strengthened with the addition of Hameed Ali who brings leadership qualities, experience and defense off the back of a long college career. I expect to see Ali, captain Greg Streete and Roy Owen all spending time at the point guard position.
Lastly, the addition of Brandon Boggs brings elite athleticism and more fire power to the off guard and small forward positions. I expect him to bring scoring in a variety of ways including some high flying play above the rim.
Historically Flyers have always adopted a defense first approach and I'd expect this to continue. Added depth, height and physicality will allow Flyers to defend at a high intensity down the stretch in tight games; an area they struggled in last season. The addition of Ali who was awarded Southland All-Defensive Team during his college career will surely allow Flyers to apply consistent increased ball pressure.
Offensively coach Kapoulas will want to initially get out and run on the break. With Dan Edozie (BBL leading rebounder 2015/2016) on the defensive glass and Ali pushing the ball I expect defenses to fear the sight of Streete and Boggs running the lanes on the fast break.
In the secondary break and half court offence we will likely see a lot of ball screen actions using Flyers versatility to create defensive mismatches.
The only reservation I have is regarding shooting. Flyers were over - reliant on the three ball last year and coach Kapoulas is obviously hoping to not only increase scoring this year but but also increase the ways in which Flyers are able to score. Hopefully this new outfit can stick the three when required.
Vigor showed that he can spread the floor and shoot the three (33% 3pt last season at Plymouth) and Streete has drastically improved his range in recent years.
Flyers don't have any shooting specialists but can perhaps spread the shooting load from several positions and ultimately rely less on three point shooting especially when fatigued late in games.
Thursday night's annual pre-season game vs USA Select is sure to be exciting. Don't expect San Antonio Spurs-esque teamwork and discipline just yet but be ready to get a taste of what's to come from your new look Flyers as they embark on their third and surely most successful BBL season yet!
Bristol Flyers face USA Select at the SGS WISE Arena tonight (Thursday, September 9th) at 7.30pm - tickets will be available on the door but to avoid disappointment, click here to buy tickets online here.
Written by Tom Hutchinson - Tom played for Bristol Flyers from its inception in National League division three and was part of the roster that won promotions to divisions two and one before injury forced his early retirement.
Do you agree with Tom? Leave him a comment or ask him a question below.
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