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Southfield A&T boys hoops starting strong

By: Zachary Manning | Southfield Sun | Published January 21, 2020

 Southfield A&T’s DaQuan Coach makes a move against Southfield Christian earlier this season. At press time, the Warriors were 7-1 overall.

Southfield A&T’s DaQuan Coach makes a move against Southfield Christian earlier this season. At press time, the Warriors were 7-1 overall.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

 A&T’s Andre Floyd goes up for a shot.

A&T’s Andre Floyd goes up for a shot.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

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SOUTHFIELD –– After a strong first season as the head coach of the Southfield A&T boys basketball program, Darryle Buchanan has his team playing well to open the 2019-20 campaign.

At press time, the Warriors were 7-1 overall and 2-1 in the Oakland Activities Association White Division. Their only loss was by 1 point to Oxford High.

Though the loss stung, the Warriors have moved on and are focused on keeping pace in the OAA White, while also preparing themselves for the playoffs.

“I’m a junior. We got a couple of seniors over there, so I want to make their year like how I want mine,” junior Caleb Banks said. “I’m going to do what I got to do and make sure we do what we got to do in order to win and go far.”

Buchanan is quick to note the amount of talent that he has on his team, but his main focus has been on building team chemistry.

The Warriors haven’t played a lot of basketball together, with returning varsity players, transfers and others coming from the junior varsity.

With that in mind, Buchanan knows that his team has yet to play its best basketball of the season.

“I can see the talent level, but even with talent, you still have to be able to meld together,” Buchanan said. “It’s like if you’re putting together a recipe. A lot of things may taste good individually, but they don’t always taste good together.”

Banks and senior Andre Floyd have also liked the way the team has come together in just a couple months.

They, too, can see the talent level with this group and believe the Warriors are capable of achieving some special things.

“We got a bunch of new players, but we’ve kind of fit in perfectly,” Floyd said. “It took a couple of weeks to get it right, but I feel like we’re getting on track. With the new players, they’ve adapted, we’ve established our roles and it’s been working out.”

Last year, Buchanan took over the program on short notice and didn’t have much time to adapt to his new squad. Now in his second year, he’s found it easier to develop player relationships and build the program.

He said he’s trying to establish a new culture around the program, and his voice is being heard from the freshmen all the way up to the varsity level.

“Coming in and having a chance to build up this relationship with the players and have them understand expectations, it’s a much better situation than it was last year,” Buchanan said. “It’s only going to get better because I’ve got another junior varsity and a freshman team behind them, and all of these guys are starting to understand this is how coach runs things, this is what his expectations are.”

Southfield A&T will hit the court again at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at Birmingham Groves.

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