If Coach Gillespie knew that a heaping plate of turkey, dressing, and cranberry sauce was what this team needed, then he would have cooked the meal himself.
The Greensboro Swarm appear to have finally got their legs underneath themselves, turning a corner that can be marked cleanly by the Thanksgiving holiday. Prior to Thanksgiving, the Swarm were 0-5, with three double-digit losses.
Since? They are 4-3, and one loss by a mere two points to the Raptors 905. That includes a dominant 21-point victory over the Erie BayHawks on Black Friday to net the first win in franchise history.
Xavier Munford has been the key player for Greensboro during their post-Thanksgiving run of success, averaging 20 points for the season and five each of rebounds and assists. He was named the D-League player of the week, and only seemed to build on that success in the games since. He dropped 23 points on the Raptors 905 last Wednesday night, then 17 points and 13 assists in a win over the Windy City Bulls.
Aaron Harrison and Christian Wood have taken shifts with the Swarm, most recently heading over from Charlotte for the three-game homestand the Swarm are currently in. While they struggled to acclimate in the two-point loss to the 905, they both broke the 20-point threshold in the win over the Bulls.
The team also recently added former Phoenix guard Archie Goodwin to the team, and he has been an up-and-down part of the rotation. At times he has dazzled, attacking the paint and showing off his handle and speed. At others he has struggled, committing careless turnovers or unnecessary fouls. His time with the Swarm will most likely be brief, as injuries will cause an NBA team to reach out and snare him in the coming weeks.
The next week sees Greensboro finish off its homestand with a matchup against the Canton Charge, a game that sees former Duke national champion Quinn Cook come into town. The Swarm then hit the road for a rematch against the Windy City Bulls. Then it’s back to the Fieldhouse to again host the 905 and head coach Jerry Stackhouse.
At 4-8, the Swarm are in the thick of things in the Eastern Conference. Coach Noel Gillespie has the core group of players humming at a high level, and the new (Goodwin) or intermittent (Harrison and Wood) additions are being worked in. While Greensboro’s focus is on developing players, there’s no reason to think that won’t continue to translate into on-court victories moving forward.