Tyrone King will take over as Rockdale County basketball head coach this season after serving as an assistant under former coach Al Williams last year. The Bulldogs are coming off a 10-17 (5-7 region) season that ended in a first round exit in the state playoffs, but that team was young and King thinks this year the team could win state.
The Rockdale News: With this being your first season as Rockdale's head coach what are some of the things you want to do and implement?
Tyrone King: Well basically I just want keep on the tradition that coach Williams had the guys know. Being his assistant I learned about the program. We've got some great athletes in the program and I think we can do a lot. The main thing is just getting them committed to defense and rebounding. Last year we were very young and I didn't think they understood the importance of even though you're athletic, we still need to play tough on the defensive end. The rebounding aspect was big for us last year especially when we played teams that were bigger than us.
RN: Coach talk a little bit about the system that you're going to have.
King: We're very athletic this year and I think we're even more athletic than last year especially at the bigger positions. It just depends on the type of team we're playing. If we just see weakness in teams with their guards we're going to apply a lot of pressure. Basically, we're trying to score in transition this year. Just keep the same principles on defense, but just be more intense on defense this year. Getting our hands in the passing lanes - that's one of the things after reviewing last year's film and just talking with coach Williams last year, that's one of the things we can focus on. Another thing we focus on, just perfecting the basics. Let's finish at the rin and make free throws. Free throws and field goals win championships in basketball and football...If we're not making free throws we're not gonna win those close games...
RN: I know you've got some of your players playing football. So coach how has that affected you as far as practice goes?
King: Right now it's really not affecting us. We have a lot of guys that are out for basketball. You might get a couple guys from football, but mainly these guys have been playing all summer. We have about 14 or 15 guys that are just strictly basketball guys. We might catch about one or two kids on the varsity that are from football, but it really hasn't slowed down anything. It's the teams in South Georgia that have the whole basketball team as the football team. I think we're faring pretty well with that.
RN: What are your goals for this season?
King: I just let the kids know that we have the potential to not only make it to a state championship, but to win a state championship. We have all the pieces that we need. We're loaded at the guard position. We're really deep. I think with the addition of Dwayne Brown this year. He's had bad luck the last two years. He's had back surgery last year, so he missed his whole 11th grade year. I know that if this team plays to the capability that they can play, I know that not just the state tournament but the state championship is a goal that we have and there's no reason that we can't make it if everybody comes together and does what they're supposed to do.