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Lincoln wants to focus "on us" 6/4/21

 Lincoln wants to focus ‘on us’ 


By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 


There are no pictures attached to the walls in Dominic Lincoln's mostly empty coaches office. 


But he knows the first names of his players. 


Lincoln hit the deck running this week during Alma's two-day preps camp for kids in kindergarten through fifth grade. He got a glimpse of his roster, too.


"It's been really busy," Lincoln said. "The camp was really good; we had a lot of kids show up, especially from our high school kids ... they worked really well. I thought that was nice. 


"The little kids come up and want to interact with the high school players — they look up to those guys, like Hunter McAlister and Logan Taylor."


The upbeat Lincoln met kids he hopes to see later this decade. He also met some parents. "We got to interact and meet a lot of people, and I was able to get myself in the community," he said. 


Lincoln has an extensive summer schedule for his Airedales that, save the two-week dead period, will carry on through August. 


"We had our first practice this week; it was awesome," Lincoln said. "We had a lot of energy. There's some new stuff; the kids are really excited. They're very coachable kids; I think we have a chance to build something really special at Alma, with everybody buying in from top to bottom."


Lincoln was named Alma's new basketball coach on May 18. The Crosset native said he plans to use the summer to get a better handle on his team.


"It's very important, especially when you're new, because you have to set the tone — first practice, first team meeting ... everything you do has to send a message in the right way," Lincoln said. "These first few days, we wanted to do a lot of skill work and watch the kids and see how they interact with each other.


"For me, these first few days are vital to understand where we're at."


Lincoln takes over for Stan Flenor, whose 2020-21 team struggled with an 8-13 record. 


"These first few days are important to see what we're good at, what we're not good at, and where we need to go," Lincoln said. "This is crucial right now."


The Airedales will also partake in some team camps. 


As for what the team will look like in November, when they hit the floor for the first time? That's a work in progress. 


"We want to be versatile more than anything," Lincoln said. "But if I want to hang my hat on something, we want to be able to pass and cut and read the defense and take what they give us. We want to get easy baskets, too, but we want to be able to slow it down if we have to."


Defensively, Lincoln said he's leaning to use more of a zone defensive approach.


"Defensively, the 1-3-1 and more of a zone than man (defense)," he said. "I feel like when we play zone, we can be aggressive and trap out of it. It also eliminates a lot of scout time in practice, where we can kind of focus on ourselves, instead of focusing on the other team.


"I want to focus on Alma basketball; I want to work on us."