by Akira Tachikawa
The men’s basketball team is opening up the regular season with a game against Allegheny College this Tuesday. The team has already played four scrimmages, two of which were in Canada, and the team are heading into the game confident as they are 4-0 in the pre-season.
The team started this year’s season earlier than usual, as they went to Canada in mid-October, and had ten practices before that to prepare for those exhibition games. This Canada trip helped the team become better from the start.
“They (exhibition games in Canada) were definitely helpful to our team. We were able to get two games and ten practices before the other teams in the Landmark Conference,” said senior guard Justin Fleming. “We got to try new things, put in a new system, and see how it works against competition.”
Other members on the team saw similar benefits from the pre-season trip up north.
“Being able to get those two wins really helped us get the confidence we needed and helped us jump-start the year,” said sophomore forward Marcus Lee.
The team’s goal this year, just like every year, is to win the Landmark Conference title. The team has worked towards this goal from the day they arrived on campus to work to achieve these goals.
“We’ve done a lot of hard work in the weight room getting physically ready,” said senior forward Nate Ogle. “We’ve been working on establishing roles, and doing the skill work you need to do to be the best fit within the program. We’ve been establishing what we need to do to be successful, and enthusiasm, energy, and toughness have been key for us.”
The team feels that from a physical perspective that they are ready for game day against Allegheny.
“All of the pre-season work we’ve done helped us to grow physically,” said Fleming. “Now we’re at the point where we’re officially practicing and preparing our first game coming up so we’re moving into more mental preparation. We’re aware [of] where we are physically in terms of conditioning and strength-wise; now we just need to put pieces together mentally.”
The team finished out the pre-season with an impressive 4-0 record. The hard work they have been putting in paid off, and the team knows their own strength. However, the Landmark Conference is a tough conference and the team must keep improving to achieve their overall goal of Landmark Champions.
“What we’re best at is fighting and playing for each other,” said Ogle. “We’re pretty tough so that gives us a chance to win every game we are going to have.”
The team feels very confident heading into the season, but they are still looking to constantly build upon their success each day.
“We need to improve on executing at an even higher level than we are doing right now, especially defensively,” said Fleming. “We’ll still break down here and there, but once we patch that up and we’re more consistent with defense, we’ll be a very strong team moving forward.”
Categories: Volume 97 Issue 4 Sports