In the wake of the 64-59 loss at Hancock Wednesday night that knocked it out of first place in the WSC North, the Ventura College men's basketball team can expect some changes in practice today:
"I'm going to talk to the team about making some changes in the starting lineup, because we haven't been getting off to a fast, hard start," said head coach Ned Mircetic Wednesday night. "That'll be part of our discussion in practice (this afternoon).
Ventura has started point guard Dee Pinkard, guard Eric Gray, guard Danny Benson, forward Anthony Burtley and center Will Faiivae for much of the season.
"The inconsistency in the starting five is forcing my hand to make changes," said Mircetic. "I'm not pleased at all with how the first two, three, four minutes of the game (have been)."
"I can't depend on what we have right now and this time of year, I should be able to depend on some things with absolute certainty."
Benson scored 13 points Wednesday to lead the team for the fifth time in six games and Pinkard added 11 points. But Gray was 1 of 7 from 3-point line in totaling five points and Faiivae, mired in foul troubled, was shut out, 0 for 2 from the field with five turnovers.
"I think I know what the problem is and I'm going to give it a good look in practice (this afternoon)," said Mircetic. "I don't understand how you can be at game No. 6 in league, the end of the first round, and we don't come out and kick somebody's (butt). Even if we don't do it, we come out with that intent and we execute it.
"It's late in the year, but it is what it is. As long as you have a breath in you, you look to make adjustments, whether they are subtle changes in footwork or sweeping changes in the lineup. We're going to be looking at all options.
"I can't deal with getting off to slow starts like that, game in, game out... I'm going to look at shaking things up a little."
Faiivae, who averages 11.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, was shut out for the first time all season after picking up two quick fouls and sitting the remaining 17 minutes of the first half. He had been held to single digits once in the previous eight games.
"He got one cheap foul and one regular Will foul," said Mircetic. "We need him rebounding, we need him on defense, we need him on multiple fronts. For him to be in foul trouble necessitates adjustments to the lineup that I don't want to make at that time."