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There is no doubt that last season did not end the way the McMaster Men’s Basketball team hoped.
Though a loss crushed playoff dreams for the Marauders, there were positives to take away from the year. The team was ranked No.4 for most of the year and competed at a high level of basketball.
A new page has been turned and the future is in the hands of a team that wants to make an appearance on the national stage.
With the new season soon underway, the team shows a lot of promise and is ready to make a lot of noise this season.
With eight new additions on the roster, players finding their place on the team takes time.
Finding team rhythm after time off of competitive basketball does not happen overnight. The best kind of learning can come from pre-season games where the outcome does not hurt the standing of the team, but where play is still competitive nonetheless.
In the last month, the Marauders have played six non-conference games, all helping to build team morale and success.
Their current record for the pre-season is 5-1, losing to the McGill Redmen by a close score of 59-62.
After the loss to McGill, Head Coach Amos Connolly gave his players a chance to give the staff feedback.
“We were able to implement and install some of the comments and their feedback was translated into technical changes that showed success on the court,” said Connolly.
Though the team has come out with wins this past month, there is room for improvement before the regular season starts where wins will count for something bigger than bragging rights.
Turnovers, rebounds, foul shots and decision making are all components that the team can further develop.
“This group is really, really talented, but that’s not enough in the CIS. The coaches are really good, the technical stuff is really well done and so talent alone just cancels out at a certain level,” said Connolly.
Some new faces have touched hardwood, giving first-year players exposure on the court. As the season approaches, a more definite rotation will be noticed all dependent on individual performance to solidify a starting spot.
“Our rotation will be eight or nine. By the end of October, you’ll probably see a little bit more of a concrete picture of what that rotation will look like,” said Connolly.
The team will play two more non-conference games at home when they welcome University of Victoria on Oct. 23 and Saint Mary’s University on Oct. 25.
Regular season begins on Nov. 4 against the Brock Badgers in Burridge Gym.
Photo Credit: Jon White/Photo Editor