Men’s team on the rebound
New recruits bring enthusiasm and energy, says coach
by Bryce Forbes
Men’s basketball coach Marc Dobell was disappointed to see some of his players move on after last year.
He lost four fifth-year players who played critical roles in their run to the national championship back in 2009.
Three others are gone as well, meaning this year’s squad has five returning players, with seven new players.
“It’s a little bit of an adjustment,” Dobell said, whose team finished with a bronze medal last year in the ACAC. “But I like it since we haven’t had a lot of turnover in the last few years and it just felt like I was saying the same things over and over again to the same guys.
“Now that we have some new guys, it makes the message new again, which is great.
“You’re disappointed to see those guys leave, but you’re excited to be able to bring in the new guys and build with the new team.”
With the new faces comes a new batch of enthusiasm from players trying to prove their worth to the coaches.
“As coaches, with a lot of new faces in here, there is a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of energy right now,” he said. “We have a long way to go but I like our talent and I like our guys right now.”
But, the transition doesn’t come without some growing pains as well.
“We have to learn our systems a little bit more and understand the coaches’ expectations a little bit more,” he said.
Fifth-year veteran Trent Offereins said the team still has the talent to pull it off.
“Our talent level is up to the level of the CCAA this year, but it’s just a matter of getting everyone on the same page and getting our systems down and playing as a team,” he said.
So far, the preseason for the team has run well with a 4-3 record, with some competition against Canada West teams.
The curious part for Dobell is to see who steps up to replace the graduated points.
“We lost a lot of leadership, we lost a lot of scoring and I’m interested to see who steps up, who can fill those gaps,” he said.
He added he doesn’t expect any single player to step up with 25 points per game, but for the team’s depth to help manage the problem.
The team opens up their home season on Oct. 22 against Medicine Hat College.