QEA back to winning ways

QEA has been one of the premiere basketball programs in Forsyth County for over a decade.

QEA back to winning ways
November 15
09:51 2018

Quality Education Academy (QEA) has set a high standard for their basketball program over the last decade. This season, QEA head coach Issac Pitts is taking a different approach with his national team to accomplish a familiar goal, winning a national championship.

The Pharaohs have won three national championships since the opening of the school, a little over a decade ago. For this championship run, Pitts is steering away from his usual formula to implement one that involves more speed.

He put that formula to the test when QEA faced off against Legacy Charter (Greenville, S.C.) last week. Legacy Charter is a nationally recognized program with multiple Division I players and QEA defeated them by the score of 72-64.

“Going into the game we had not played that level of competition yet this year,” Pitts said.  “Those guys are ranked in the top 25 in the country and they have seven high major Division I recruits.”

“I understood going into this thing that they were pretty good and they were big. Going in, I said this was a test to get back to playing the QEA way, which is pressure from one end of the court to the other.”

Pitts says he knows his offense can be a weapon, but what makes this team dangerous is the fact they use their defense as a weapon as well. He feels their speed and defensive pressure makes his team very difficult to play against.

“What we want to do is run on misses, makes, free throws and out-of-bounds plays,” he said.  “We want to run on every facet of the game to keep them on their heels and then when they get the ball, we want to attack you on defense to keep them bottled up and pressured.”

Pitts has embraced analytics, which is the computational analysis of data or statistics. He has found that his team has a better chance of winning by creating more possessions on offense and forcing  turnovers on defense.

According to Pitts, this is his best team he has had since 2011. He says he has similar style players on this team as he had back then. His current players watch film of QEA legends such as Anthony Fields and Charles McKinney so they know the standard they have to live up to.

QEA traditionally plays a tough schedule in November and December to prepare them for the games in February. Pitts says that’s been the way he has always tested his team’s resolve early on in the year.

“Traditionally that’s what we have always done,” Pitts said of his team’s schedule. “We always play a tough November, but what we are preparing for is February. We play a tough schedule, so I figured let’s just jump out there right out of the gate.”

For the first time in many years, QEA will play a Forsyth County team during their regular season. The Pharaohs will match up against the Spartans of Mount Tabor this afternoon. Pitts says he has a long standing relationship with the Muse family due to him playing for Tom Muse when he was in high school.

“I played for the legendary Tom Muse at Parkland, so I have had a great relationship with the Muse family since I was 16,” he continued. “The only school that has always played me was Mount Tabor, but it was always a scrimmage.  This year, Andy said they wanted to play and he wanted to do it at our place.”

“I thought that was very big of him, because we don’t play Forsyth County schools and I don’t know why.”

Pitts went on to talk about why his team is never invited to play in the Frank Spencer Classic during the holiday season. He said his teams always want to play, but they never get the chance.

Pitts feels his team has a good chance at winning another national title, because of the strong play he gets from his guards.

“High school basketball nowadays is centered around great guard play,” said Pitts. “Many people want  a big man and I have been fortunate to have great bigs in the past, but in 2018 I decided to do it differently. We don’t want a big man, we want speed, because speed kills.”

Even though wins are a top priority for QEA, Pitts says the main objective is to get his players into a college or university.  He says his goal in life is to get 250 black men into college and up to this point he is almost halfway there with 120 and counting.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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