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College basketball feature

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by -Scoop-, May 28, 2008.

  1. -Scoop-

    -Scoop- Member

    College basketball feature from earlier this year. Any feedback is much appreciated!

    The closing seconds of TAMIU’s overtime win over St. Mary’s on Jan. 24 fully showcased the entire repertoire of Ignacio Garcia.
    With the game tied and just 6 seconds remaining in the extra session, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound sophomore guard forced a St. Mary’s turnover near its free-throw line, picked up the loose ball and sped down the court.
    He eased by three defenders and drove the lane, throwing up a soft, high layup that settled off the glass and through the basket just as time expired.
    In two plays, Garcia’s impact on both ends of the floor was seen, and the result was the Dustdevils’ first win against a distinguished Rattlers team.
    With names such as Chris Swan, Derek Barnes and Sean Tucker getting most of the fame and shots on the offensive end, the efficient Garcia has been “the glue guy” for the Dustdevils, picking up the slack in any and all areas.
    Picture a more athletic Mario Elie from the heyday of the Houston Rockets, or a more offensive-minded Bruce Bowen, and you get Garcia, a blue-collar workman on the court.
    “My job is to come in and play hard,” Garcia said. “There are spurts when I don’t play as hard as I’m capable of, and that’s what I need to work on. Especially defensively, I’m still working on not having lapses and maintaining focus.” Garcia is averaging 13.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.25 steals in eight conference games, shooting 52.9 percent from the floor.
    On a team of shooters, he’s one of three players – Chris Swan and Spencer Foreman being the others – who also can take the ball to the basket and create opportunities in the paint.
    “I’m extremely pleased with Ignacio,” TAMIU Coach Stephon Leary said. “He gives us a new dimension, an offensive player who attacks by going to the rim. Ignacio is good at putting pressure on the defense as a slasher, and he does a lot of the handyman work for us.” Garcia has taken the second-most free-throw attempts on the team, behind Swan, and is averaging 4.9 attempts per game in conference play.
    All of his numbers have improved since non-conference play, when he tallied eight points, 4.5 rebounds and 0.8 steals per game in 10 contests.
    “I’ve had a so-so year,” Garcia said. “I haven’t shot the ball too well from the outside (4-for-24 on 3-pointers), but I’ve made up for it by getting to the free-throw line, offensive rebounding and scoring off put-backs.
    “There’s still a lot of season left, so there are still a lot of things I can work on and come back even stronger next year.” Garcia often has the task of defending the opposing team’s best player and is a strong offensive rebounder, averaging 2.6 per district contest.
    When the team isn’t shooting the ball well, it’s often Garcia who takes the initiative to attack the rim and get points at the free-throw line, especially in the second halves of games.
    “We call him the Garbageman, the Handyman … those type of characteristics fit him in regards of the commitment and work ethic he brings,” Leary said.
    Entering this season, Garcia said he welcomed a clean slate under Leary, who replaced Curtis Condie as head coach in early summer.
    Garcia saw few minutes in Condie’s halfcourt, slow-down style last season, averaging five points and 2.9 rebounds in 19.7 minutes per game as a freshman.
    This season, in Leary’s motion offense, which embraces transition and penetration attacks, Garcia’s minutes have boomed to 24.9, and he is fourth on the team in scoring and first in field-goal percentage, hitting at a .486 clip.
    “I knew (what) he was capable of,” Leary said. “I’m not surprised of his success. I think the system provides a kid like him the chance to elevate his game and thrive. That’s why we’re seeing the gradual growth.” Garcia agreed, noting that he’s more comfortable in this particular style of play.
    “Last year, I didn’t have too big of a role,” he said. “I would come in, play hard and just earn what I could. This year, I’ve stepped up a bit and I’m more comfortable with who I am and what I can do on the floor.” Through all the success early in his collegiate career, Garcia knows he can be a lot better, citing ball-handling and shooting as areas of his game that can improve.
    “I’ve gotten a lot better than last year,” he said. “I still have lapses, but I’m getting better in being consistent. There’s so much more I can work on, and I look forward to improving and growing as this team grows in the future.”
  2. Smash Williams

    Smash Williams Well-Known Member

    A couple of thoughts.

    Way too many commas in that sentence. Try "The Dustdevils run a motion offense this season, and Garcia's minutes have risen to 24.9 per game in the system that embraces transition and penetration attacks. His .486 field-goal percentages is best on the team, and he's fourth on the team in scoring.

    You tend to run sentences together with commas, both with comma-splices and grammatically-correct transitions. Separate each idea into its own sentence to give the reader a chance to take a mental breath.

    I don't like making comparisons to present-day pro players. I'd rather a coach/teammate make that comparison for me (or the kid say he wants to play like whoever), or stay away from it all together.

    Finally, as a general note with features, I'd rather have the feature be about what makes the kid special that I can't find in the stat sheet or even watching the game. What makes him different than any other kid who gets a game-winning steal/layup combination? What's his personality like off the court?
  3. -Scoop-

    -Scoop- Member

    Appreciate it, Smash. I do need to work on less complex sentences.
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