Borden coach Doc Nash has been known for his positive demeanor on the Braves’ sideline since he took over the program in 2006.
With an inexperienced team heading toward the 2014-15 season, Nash has had to be more positive — and patient —than most of the time during his first eight years.
With his team playing in the seventh-place game at the Salem Summer Shootout at the Randy Johnson Fieldhouse on June 27, Nash displayed his positive influence throughout Borden’s 57-56 victory over rival Eastern.
“I don’t want to scream and holler,” he told his team during a timeout. “Don’t make me scream and holler.”
Instead, the teacher taught. “When are we going to shoot it?” he asked his team. “When we know we’re going to make the shot seven out of 10 times.”
Nash believes staying positive with his young group has helped the team grow during the summer.
“Most of the time, I try to be,” he said. “I know this team is young and there’s going to be growing pains, but I’m having fun with them. I can see the kids trying to get better and that’s all I’m asking for.”
Borden’s players are enjoying the summer experience with their state championship coach.
“He’s a great coach,” junior forward Reilly Gray said. “He’s always fun with us. He can be an intense guy. He does get pretty serious.”
“He’s a great guy and he knows what he’s talking about,” junior guard Caleb Hart said. “I love Coach.”
The game against Eastern was the last of the summer. The Braves led 57-56 in the final seconds when Nash begged his team to finish the summer on a positive not. “One stop, please,” he asked of his squad.
As has been the case for most of the last decade, the Braves got the stop — and the win — for their coach.
“We’ve had a great summer,” Nash said. “We’re trying to learn how to play together. We’re learning our roles. I want to see who I can count on and I’ve been able to distinguish that this summer.”
The Braves played eight games at Salem, went to team camp at Saint Joseph’s College in Renssaelaer and played a pair of games at Charlestown. Nash has had an average of 15-20 players per practice, including freshmen.
“I do feel like we’ve gotten a lot better compared to when we began [the summer],” Gray evaluated. “I think we improved as a team. We’re playing as a team now.”
“We’ve had some ups and downs,” Hart said, “but we’ve improved a bunch.”
In order to be a championship team in 2014-15, the Braves will have to overcome a significant lack of size. They have few players who are 6-feet, making rebounding and interior defense an issue. No Brave is over 6-1.
“You’ve got to be mentally tough, No. 1. You’ve got to be physically tough, No. 2,” Nash said. “It starts with habits. We haven’t formed those habits yet but we will. We’re going to have to block out every single time or we’re going to get punished.”
Borden is coming off a 16-5 season and its fourth consecutive Southern Athletic Conference title. The Braves have also won four sectional titles in the past seven years and the state crown in 2013.
With all of the pieces gone from the 2013 championship team, expectations may not be as high for the 2014-15 Braves. The pressure to succeed still lingers, however.
“I think we’ll be expected to win this year and we will. It’s Borden basketball — we should win,” Nash said. “I’m excited about our season coming up.”
“Everyone’s thinking we’re not going to be as good,” Gray gauged. “I think we’re going to come out and shock a lot of people this year.”
BORDEN UNDER NASH
• 2007 — 11-10
• 2008 — 20-6 (Southern Athletic Conference Champions; Sectional Champions)
• 2009 — 19-6 (SAC Champions; Sectional Champions)
• 2010 — 6-13
• 2011 — 14-9 (SAC Champions)
• 2012 — 22-2 (SAC Champions; Sectional Champions)
• 2013 — 24-3 (SAC Champions; Sectional Champions; Regional Champions; Semistate Champions; State Champions)
• 2014 — 16-5 (SAC Champions)