In September, the John Jay Men’s basketball team, coming off of a 9 – 17 season, named Otis Fenn the new head coach.
Fenn isn’t a rookie in the coaching field.
As assistant coach in 2005, he helped lead New York City College of Technology to a CUNYAC championship and to the second round of the NCAA Men’s Division III tournament.
He has been coaching at City Tech for the past eleven years and the last five of them he was head coach.
Fenn calls himself a “players coach” and a “disciplinarian” who’s going to bring a new style of play to the “Doghouse,” something the John Jay student body “hasn’t seen in years.”
“It’s going to be a fast up-tempo style of offense,” Fenn said, “it’s going to be real exciting.”
Making the transition easier for the new coach is the fact that the Bloodhounds, who lost no seniors to graduation, have the nucleus of last year’s team returning; led by Jerome Alexander who finished third in the league in scoring.
The system Fenn wants to put in place isn’t difficult according to him, it is just demanding; the players need to be in top physical shape. This is because on top of the fast paced offense, Fenn is going to install a press defense into the system. This shouldn’t be hard given the great attitude of the players according to Fenn, although there are areas that need to be improved.
“Free throw shooting and rebounding are a problem,” Fenn said “but those are fundamental areas that can be improved.”
The biggest challenge walking into a new team is just getting to know the players according to Fenn. But being a player’s coach, he adjusts to the players, “the players don’t adjust to me.”
Fenn’s energy should mesh well with the team’s obvious chemistry as he is going to allow them to utilize their specific skill sets to the best of their abilities.
“With the core back we’re going to be much better, I can name seven or eight players ready to contribute right off the bat” Fenn said. “There is a lot of talent on this team that needs to be pushed.”