They’ll have an Edge, and they’ll be quick about it

Un­der new coach Doug Plumb, St. John’s Edge will play with grit and tough­ness, and they’ll be mov­ing up and down the court quickly

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - SPORTS -

Blink your eye. That’s how fast Doug Plumb wants things un­fold­ing on the bas­ket­ball court this year.

Ssssh­hhh … Plumb has a se­cret.

“I’ll share this,” says the new St. John’s Edge coach, with a sly grin, “we have a .5 sec­ond rule ... if you catch the bas­ket­ball, and you’re not shoot­ing it, get­ting rid of it or pen­e­trat­ing with it in half a sec­ond, we have a prob­lem.”

If Jeff Dun­lap em­ployed an uptempo game last sea­son — a track meet, Dun­lap called it — Plumb wants an F1 race.

“If you’re go­ing to play ‘small ball,’ the pace is what kills,” Plumb says. “If you try to play small ball but with a grind-itout, slow-it-down of­fence, the big­ger guys are go­ing to get hun­kered down and you’ll get over­matched.

“We have a deep team that’s ver­sa­tile, and we’re go­ing to play fast, for sure … shoot the bas­ket­ball, move the ball or get rid of the bas­ket­ball if you don’t have any­thing.”

At 30 years old, Plumb has his own team for the first time, re­plac­ing Dun­lap af­ter the lat­ter wasn’t of­fered a con­tract, and re­turned to the NCAA ranks as an as­sis­tant coach with Cal State-northridge in his na­tive L.A.

Plumb’s phi­los­o­phy is sim­ple, one based on grit, tough­ness and en­ergy.

It’s not easy steer­ing your own ship. He wakes up, gets in a work­out, watches film, works on a prac­tice or game plan, heads to prac­tice, watches more film, slips in a bite to eat some­where, makes more notes, prob­a­bly watches an­other bit of film…

And then he does all over again the next day.

“I’m a worka­holic by na­ture,” he says. “It’s been fun … a blast.

“I was with my girl­friend last year, and she’ll kill me for say­ing this, but I’m alone this year and be­ing at the gym all day is the best. There’s noth­ing bet­ter. “This is al­most a dream job.” So just who is Doug Plumb? It’s his third year in the Na­tional Bas­ket­ball League of Canada, af­ter serv­ing as an as­sis­tant coach to Dun­lap last sea­son, and Kyle Julius the pre­vi­ous year with the league cham­pion Lon­don Light­ning.

A Van­cou­ver na­tive, Plumb starred at the Uni­ver­sity of British Columbia and later played pro­fes­sion­ally for a cou­ple of years in Hun­gary and Ro­ma­nia.

Much like any­one in pro­fes­sional sports, the game is his life and Plumb took a chance meet­ing with Julius and trans­formed it into some­thing akin to his love of play­ing, which is coach­ing.

Plumb and Julius first met when the for­mer was a player at UBC and the lat­ter was run­ning A Games Hoops, a pro­gram which fea­tured Cana­dian star Kevin Pan­gos, among oth­ers.

“I was a young player who wanted to learn as much as pos­si­ble,” Plumb said. “We hit it off, kin­dred spir­its I sup­pose.

“I kind of aligned with Kyle, picked his brain. And when I went over­seas, we kept in con­tact.”

One day, Plumb’s phone rang. Julius needed an as­sis­tant coach in Lon­don, and tabbed the young keener from Van­cou­ver as his guy.

Plumb hadn’t re­ally thought much about coach­ing. But the more he mulled it over, the more in­clined he was to give it whirl.

“I said, what the hell — I’ll try it for six months,” Plumb said. “I fell in love with it al­most im­me­di­ately.”

ST. JOHN’S EDGE PHOTO/JEFF PAR­SONS

St. John’s Edge coach Doug Plumb can’t wait to get the sea­son started, his first as a head coach fol­low­ing two years work­ing as an as­sis­tant.

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