The first meeting with players went well for new Desert Vista boys basketball coach Dave Williams.

Initial introductions always do as everyone, parents included, is just trying to get to know each other as transitions begin.

It's when the practice gets serious that things can get testy.

Especially with Williams' hard-nosed style.

Almost all players love to play offense and compete at a fast tempo, but not everyone likes to dig in defensively.

The Thunder better show up with shovels in hand.

"We are going to play hard-nosed pressure defense," Williams said. "That's how you get things done. We will be 85 percent transition, 10 percent half-court and 5 percent specialty plays.

"The program that was in place before was a great style and we are just going to pick up on that."

Williams replaces Doug Harris, who did not have his contract re-newed after two losing season since winning the 2008 Class 5A Division I state title.

"There have been some great teams at Desert Vista," Williams said. "It's proven you can win a state title at this school. If we can keep our kids we should be annual contenders."

Williams, who was approved on May 19, takes over a program that loses two seniors from last season's 11-15 squad and gains transfer Danny Powell from Mesa.

Powell, a 6-foot-5 guard, averaged 12.5 points and 4.7 rebounds for the 25-5 Jackrabbits last season as a sophomore.

"He has a good inside and outside game," Williams said. "He will be a great addition to our program."

Williams's background is at the junior college level (South Mountain and Scottsdale) and AAU with the Arizona Magic.

"I am excited about the opportunity to coach at the high school level," he said. "We have started these kids out with some personal and team training. We are working on bettering their explosion, strength and developing their fast-twitch muscles.

"We are getting better individually and then we will come together as a team in October."

Williams is trying to integrate himself into the community and it starts with the Junior Thunder Basketball Camp, July 26 to 29 at Desert Vista.

The cost is $100 and is for third- to eighth-grade boys with each session from noon to 3 p.m. Any questions can be directed to Williams at (480) 232-6598.

"We have to get everyone ingrained into what Desert Vista basketball is about," Williams said. "We need to start them out young and keep them in our program."



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