FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 03, 2012
Van Arsdale seeking growth spurt
With only a week to go before the season opener against Towson, JU coach Guy Van Arsdale is looking for something as his team faces the University of Tampa in a scrimmage Saturday.

“You look for growth,’’ Van Arsdale said this week. “ Just like you do in the season, in these one week increments you want to see growth and you want to see improvement, especially on the things we focused on after last week (a scrimmage against Notre Dame).’’

Among those things, according to Van Arsdale, were work on the clearing game and some execution on offense. The team was guilty of less than crisp passing at some points. Finally, he will be looking for a little better communication on defense this time around.

“I’m sure we’ll come out of the scrimmage against Tampa with a whole other list of things we want to work on next week before we open up with Towson,’’ Van Arsdale said.

The first-year JU coach said quantifying progress is near impossible.

“I don’t know that it’s quantifiable, but you know when it’s there and you really know when it’s not,’’ he said. “You can tell when it goes backwards. I think it helps having scrimmages on back to back weekends because you’re not just practice what you’re doing on the field, but you’re practicing how you are preparing for a game every weekend and getting yourself ready mentally, physically and also emotionally so you come out and play with the intensity and the emotion that’s needed to play well in this game.’’

As JU enters its third season of play, Tampa is embarking on its first but that is of little consequence to the Dolphins.

“I don’t take that into account at all,’’ Van Arsdale said. “We respect all opponents and fear none and that’s how we want to approach this. The bottom line is we want to make this about us and our execution and how we do it. Who else is on the field with us at this point in a scrimmage is of little regard.’’

Van Arsdale may have a little insight to Tampa’s style as the Spartans’ coach, Rory Whipple, and he go back quite a ways.

They coached against each other when Van Arsdale was at Rochester Institute of Technology and Whipple was at Hartwick (N.Y.) College.

“He’s an old friend, I’ve known him for years,’’ Van Arsdale said. “We grew up about 40 miles from each other and played against each other. He’s a very good coach and I know they’re a team that’s gotten a lot of transfers in and built a roster pretty quickly and I’m sure he’ll do a great job.’’

The scrimmage is set for D. B. Milne Field on the JU campus at 1 p.m.

- Jim Nasella