Mustangs Offseason Recap and Interview
- By Joel Steelman, Day 1, 2021
DETROIT - The streets of Detroit are abuzz with optimism regarding the upcoming season of the Detroit Mustangs. There are pockets of skeptics to be found, but the general consensus is that this season should be an improvement over the past couple of seasons with a playoff appearance an expected result.
The team only lost one player of a possible two in the expansion draft. The player, Isaiah Foreman, was apparently a favorite of the GM who's reply to the situation was a defeated sounding "You never want to lose a player with his potential and skillset, but it's out of my hands, we just have to go with what we got now."
In the draft, the Mustangs picked a perhaps surprising pick in Josh Rashaw, who was projected to be a much lower selection. Rashaw has raw talent and will look to build upon it as an understudy to two experienced wings in Vaughn and LaGarde. When asked how he felt about being able to work with these two players, Rashaw replied in a positive fashion, "It's great to have people around me that can both better my game and contribute. I didn't have much of that at Penn State, you know, in the quality teammate department. No disrespect, I love those guys, but I don't think I gained much. At this level, I just want to do what I can for the Mustangs when I get the minutes."
In FA, the Mustangs parted ways with Woodberry, Fortune, and LeVoir. They then added Johan Arden, Otis Green, and undrafted rookie Jesse Zalys to round out the roster. As the Mustangs are a very cash-strapped team, the marquee signing was Johan Arden who signed for the MLE. This signing has many fans welcoming the addition of the former All-JBL member for depth, but seemingly questioning the productivity of the aging center in the same sentence.
To hear more from the organizations standpoint, WDET's very own Tre Baskets sat down with GM, DestructionIce, aka "DI"
Tre: Several pundits are tipping you the playoffs. Do you feel those are reasonable expectations?
DI: I would mostly agree with those assessments. We have an experienced core of players who can go far if they play well. That said, this isn't a group of players that has played together for long. It's good enough on paper. Though, given an injury or bad production on supporting players part, we could start to slide.
Tre: So I'm hearing you fear injuries and cohesion. Can you elaborate on those fears any?
DI: Sure. It's no secret we have an older squad. My injury worry stems from this aspect. We don't play slowly. My fear is the aging players may not be able to run as fast a pace as we'd like and may over exert themselves leading to an injury. In this case we'd need to depend on our bench players that are not as skilled. (long pause)
Tre: So what about cohesion?
DI: Oh! Right. Sorry, my mind is on a thousand things right now waiting for the season opener. A lot being, as you might can tell, 'what could go wrong? How do I fix It if it does?'. Anyway, we lost our two assistants in the off-season and gained two new ones. I wish well of Lucas Winter. He's a good coach and deserves the opportunity to be a head coach. When you lose two coaches, the impact can most definitely affect the training and preparation as the team adjusts. In addition, we have a lot of new faces here in Detroit. When you add those two situations together, a team's cohesion WILL suffer. It's just a matter of when or will it correct itself.
Tre: So you wished Lucas Winter success, what about Reggie King?
DI: (Very sternly) What about him?
Tre: Oooooo-k. I'll just move along. Your new assistants. Why did you decide to sign two inexperienced coaches with the seemingly same coaching profile?
DI: Everyone starts somewhere, right? I would have liked to get coaches with more experience, but none fit what kind of system I want to run. Hayden and Rose, even without experience have what I was looking for in a coach. The same coaching profile as you put it. They do differ in what they run, but yes they are very much similar. It's a risk to take inexperienced coaches, but I have confidence in Troy [Washington] to mop up what they may be lacking in in experience.
Tre: But Arden Is only 1 year younger than his coach, Hayden. How do you think he feels about that?
DI: I've spoken with both Arden and Hayden about that. They're both professional and understand what's to be expected out of them. It's my understanding it will be a two-way street kind of thing, where they both learn from each other. In the end, I think they'll get along and work together nicely
Tre: How has the training gone up to the start of the season that you've seen?
DI: Lots of moving cogs there. I think my concerns about cohesion have had a negative impact on training. We still look like a good team, but a few of the older players have looked a bit sluggish. We'll need production from everybody to make a deep run in the post season.
Tre: I've sat here and listened to your doom and gloom for enough today. Do you have anything positive to say?
DI: In all honesty, I really like the team and our chances. I think we have a good starting 5 and some decent bench players. I highlight a lot of "what-if" and negative aspects, but I think we'll be OK.
Tre: That's as good as it'll get I guess. Until next time, DI