Jamar Beasley is returning to the Wings at just the right time.
Beasley missed the last 2 1/2 games with a concussion but has been cleared to play Friday night against Baltimore at Hartman Arena. The Wings started 0-3 but won their most recent game and, with Beasley back in the lineup, Wichita finally appears poised for momentum.
Beasley didn’t score before leaving the Wings’ second game, but if he can re-emerge as the scoring threat he was last season, Wichita will get a bonus to the emotional life he already provides.
"His experience (is important) because that’s something we lack," Wings coach LeBaron Hollimon said. "Whenever you take a guy out of the mix who has a wealth of experience, you can’t ever practice for that. That was the biggest issue, just missing his experience that helps us through situations in games."
The presence of Beasley and the additions of several scoring threats were expected to make the Wings more of an offensive force than they were in their inaugural season. So far, that hasn’t been the case.
Many of the newcomers are performing well, but the offense has yet to mesh. That has forced the Wings to rely on keeping games low-scoring while using the defense to hide some scoring deficiencies.
For the most part, however, the defense hasn’t been up to Hollimon’s standards. The Wings got closer to satisfying Hollimon’s vision for that facet in an 8-6 overtime win over Syracuse on Sunday.
"One of my frustrations and one of my areas of concern was my team defending," Hollimon said. "We were giving up too many points. We turned in what I thought was a good defensive performance against Milwaukee (in a 12-4 loss on Nov. 9), then we turned in a very good defensive performance against Syracuse. We just want to keep building on that."