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 2 JaMorris Gaines25.5 
 3 Daylon Guy23.8 
 4 Xavier Rogers22.4 
 5 Bernard Parks22.0 
 6 Wesley Witherspoon21.9 
 7 Marcus Burton20.8 
 8 Tony Omotayo20.0 
 9 Freddie Williams19.1 
 10 Brent Cowles19.0 
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 1 Bijan Dotson12.4 
 2 Dwayne Soders11.0 
 3 Vernon Payne10.8 
 4 Ron Blossomgame9.2 
 5 Dorian Purnell8.8 
 6 JaMorris Gaines8.0 
 7 Wesley Witherspoon7.8 
 8 Jermaine Barnes7.8 
 9 Tony Omotayo7.7 
 10 A'Daeron Duncan7.0 
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 1 DeAndre Bray11.0 
 2 Daylon Guy6.6 
 3 Jamaal Newman5.8 
 4 Jermaine Barnes5.0 
 5 A'Daeron Duncan4.9 
 6 Marcus Burton4.5 
 7 Wesley Witherspoon4.2 
 8 Ant Oxley4.0 
 9 Jeremee Davis4.0 
 10 Jeremah Stone3.9 
Steals Per Game
 1 DeAndre Bray3.3 
 2 Daylon Guy3.0 
 3 Freddie Williams2.7 
 4 Bernard Parks2.3 
 5 Bijan Dotson2.2 
 6 Jermaine Barnes2.2 
 7 Will Richard2.1 
 8 Brad Smith1.9 
 9 A'Daeron Duncan1.5 
 10 Tony Omotayo1.4 
Blocks Per Game
 1 Bijan Dotson2.4 
 2 Danny Friend2.2 
 3 Vernon Payne2.1 
 4 JaMorris Gaines2.0 
 5 Dwayne Soders2.0 
 6 Jon Inman1.4 
 7 Tony Omotayo1.2 
 8 Dorian Purnell1.0 
 9 A'Daeron Duncan1.0 
 10 Ron Blossomgame1.0 
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The revival of the Southern Generals: Meet Coach Will De La Cruz - Apr 5, 2017


POSTED BY:
MIKE AMICO
E-mail Mike:
Mike's Articles


Will De La
Cruz
Atlanta, GA
4/5/2017

A Personal Insight into Will De La Cruz's Basketball Franchise

Would you take on the challenge of turning around a team that has placed last in its conference five years in a row? Would you even want this task after leading this very team to its only UBA Championship in 2011? Turning a team around is no easy task, yet just two years into his tenure, first-time Head Coach Will De La Cruz (Dominican native) took Minor League Southern Generals' basketball franchise from 19th to number one. We asked Coach De La Cruz what has been key to this transformation.

Coaching Philosophy

The Foundation of Will's success is his holistic approach to coaching. The "Dominican Power" Coaching Philosophy focuses on all areas of his pro-athletes' development, not only the on-court tactics. In doing so, Coach De La Cruz executes one of the fundamental elements to success in the sporting environment: maintaining great coach-athlete relationships.

'I think my role in the UBA is to help guide the players who truly want it. If I get a player who has the tools but has not figured out how to put it all together, I can guide them through that process. It's my job to meet them on the ground-level and help them reach their potential'

Leadership

Will has a unique approach to leadership in professional basketball. He sees every player as a future pro, regardless of their skill-level. This was an important factor in addressing the challenge of the 2012-2015 season where five of the seven starting players were first year players out of small universities. Coach De La Cruz stresses that there are no super stars on his team; everyone influences the game in their own unique way. One of his key team mottos is 'Star in your role.' If you're a great passer, then create opportunities for others. If you can score, be the best scorer; be the most efficient at what you do.

'We had a group of guys during that time-span that were 'me guys.' They were accustom to losing, and that was a huge challenge for us. Everyone became use to us being the door mat of the UBA But I knew if I continued to teach the game the right way and challenge them we would be where we are today,' he said.

Adaptability

Another skill in De La Cruz's coaching kit is his adaptability. He knows that, like every sporting team, there are going to be egos and pride of past accomplishments from former college players. For this reason, he helps his players find their role on the team. Being a former professional basketball player, De La Cruz understands the struggle of an overlooked minor league player. Starting his college career at a NCAA 2 school, and a 3 time All-American at Point University, then after college attending minicamp for the Houston Rockets before joining the UBA and later, going on to play overseas, Will has learned what it takes to succeed at all levels.

'Having the ability to relate to their struggle as a pro helps me provide valuable advice that helps make a difference in their play. My past accomplishments make my players listen more, which helps me coach them. It gives me a great opportunity to teach them in that respect'

Furthermore, there are two qualities that Coach De La Cruz will always instill in his players: honesty and punctuality.

Team Culture

The Southern Generals minor league franchise has dramatically improved in performance since Will retired and became Head Coach. Not only does De La Cruz want to see scoreboard improvements, he is also committed to developing his professional players as people through sports. When taking over, Coach De La Cruz set about making some 'radical' changes to the pro team's culture. He felt his improvements as a professional coach would improve his knowledge of teaching his high school program also.

Pro Development

One major gift of Coach De La Cruz is his ability to improve players. In just two short seasons Will has produced four professional athletes who were finding it difficult to be signed prior to working with Will.

'For me, I take pride in coaching every player differently. I believe in using what you have and mastering it to get to the next level. So our staff took a lot of time studying the players by position to see how to train effectively'

And how has it helped the players?

In 2014 the Southern Generals signed Johnathan Murphy (6'7''-PF-89, college: Columbus St.). An undersized (6'6) power forward from Columbus State University. Murphy only averaged 5 points per game for the Cougars his senior season before joining the UBA. After two season under Coach De La Cruz, Murphy is now playing in Barcelona, Spain in the EBA Professional Basketball League. He is currently averaging a team best 17 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.

When asked what's "Dominican Power"? This is it.
  




Oliver
Garcia
GIE Maile Matrix inks Oliver Garcia and Jose Americo Delgado for 2018 Copa Mitchell Cup, ex Plaza - 1 day ago
GIE Maile Matrix signed 22-year old Dominican shooting guard Oliver Garcia (188-96) and Jose Americo Delgado. They played last summer at Plaza in Santiago League in Dominican Republic. He was also voted Latinbasket.com All-Mitchell Americas Cup 1st Team in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Garcia's team made it to the Mitchell Americas Cup final in 2016. By Eurobasket Data Center Check also Complete Transfers List in UBA   [read more]

Brandon
Givens
GIE Maile Matrix add Givens for 2018 Copa Mitchell Cup - 23 days ago
GIE Maile Matrix added to their roster 30-year old guard Brandon Givens (198-93kg-87, college: NC-Wesleyan). It is actually his comeback to GIE Maile Matrix as he has played here before. Givens already started the season at Los Leones in Chilean Liga Nacional. The last summer Givens played at Piratas in Colombian LPB where in 19 games he was the best scorer with impressive 25.7ppg and had 6.8rpg and 2.9apg. A very spectacular season in his career as he was selected Latinbasket.com All-Col...   [read more]

A'Daeron
Duncan
Duncan agreed terms with GIE Maile Matrix for the 2018 Copa Mitchell Cup - 27 days ago
GIE Maile Matrix inked 29-year old point/ forward A'Daeron Duncan (201-87, college: N.Kentucky) for the 2018 Copa Mitchell Cup in Santiago, Dominican Republic. He helped the Texas Rize to end the regular season as a second best team in the league. They also advanced to the league semifinals. A very good season in his career as he was voted to USBasket.com All-UBA 3rd Team and UBA All-Star Game MVP. Duncan finished the season with an average of 14.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists. T...   [read more]


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