Basketball started early this year for the men’s team as they saw some preseason non-conference action during the Marauders’ homecoming festivities.
These games offered an opportunity for the Marauders to debut several new players along with the Marauders’ brand new head coach Patrick Tatham. Coach Tatham arrived in Hamilton early this May and has been working hard behind the scenes ever since.
“I always said if I was going to leave Ryerson it would be for Mac. So I’m kind of living the dream right now,” said Tatham.
Tatham’s impressive basketball history includes playing for National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Cleveland State University and as a member of the Canadian Junior Men’s National Team. He also played three professional seasons in Switzerland, Syria, Qatar and Germany and added a U Sports 2016 Coach of the Year award following his career as a player.
Tatham came prepared to bring the Marauders to a new level. “I’ve always been a defensively-minded player and carried that with me into coaching,” he said. “Right off the bat, I think we’re going to be very tough and gritty and very quick on defence.”
Coach Tatham started off the team’s training with a week-long boot camp during the last week of August, and although their first games proved they have a lot of work to do, he believes the team has been adjusting quite well.
“Right now we’re just going to put our hard hats on and get after it game after game.”
“That week showed me that they really want to work hard,” Tatham said. “The next week was a mini-training camp and it was literally four days of all defence. They have been responding very well to the defence-minded thoughts that I have”.
Although it is still too early to tell, Tatham is hoping that with hard work the Marauders can shock teams across Ontario University Athletics.
“We didn’t really finish in a great position last year,” said Tatham. “But I do want to surprise a lot of people in the OUA West and the OUA East. Right now we’re just going to put our hard hats on and get after it game after game.”
To do this, Tatham has recruited several players, including shooting guard-forward combo Sasha Simic from Kitchener, ON and former NCAA D-I player Miles Seward.
“Everyone could really expect to see Sasha as a hybrid four,” said Tatham. “And Miles is just a flat-out scorer. He’s going to be so exciting to watch.”
So far this has proven to be true. In their first two preseason wins, Simic has shown great versatility while Seward has lit up the court with his shooting ability.
But the team still has a lot to work on, as was shown during a brutal 103-63 loss to Laval University, these challenges were no surprise to coach Tatham.
“All the guys love him. He’s very energetic and he’s one of those guys that likes to get us hyped up.”
Men’s Basketball team
“They’re still trying to get used to me and how I coach,” Tatham said. “Whether it’s yelling or getting into their ear or getting into their face, I’m going to be faced with challenges where sometimes they may not respond or maybe they won’t be used to the coaching that I’m going to instill on them”.
Another challenge coach Tatham hopes to turn around is the lack of hype and disinterest towards the program and the basketball culture at Mac.
“I think that’s one area where we struggle with a little bit,” said Tatham. “One of our managers, Robert Rawson, is really kind of owning our social media presence so I’m excited for that too.”
Above all, coach Tatham hopes to leave a long-lasting impact on his players.
“I’ll never forget it,” remembered Tatham. “My coach when I was in school at Cleveland State University used to say: ‘we’re the last line of defence for all these young men before they leave to go off into the real world’.”
He believes that if he can train them on how to work hard on the basketball court or in the weight room, he can also guide them to have good characteristics that help them to be young men when they finish university.
“Those little things are the things that I take pride in so that hopefully when they’re done here in two, three or four years, they can use those skills when they’re young men,” said Tatham.
Coach Tatham brings a new excitement to Marauders basketball this season. His passion for the sport cannot be hidden which is exciting to watch for both fans and players alike.
“All the guys love him. He’s very energetic and he’s one of those guys that likes to get us hyped up,” said fourth-year player David McCulloch. “That’s why I really like him as a coach because he makes me want to play for him. But at the same time, he’s also very tough and he’s straight up with you”.
With so many changes going into the new season the Marauders are still adapting, but they plan to use the four preseason games left to shake off the jitters before the regular season starts.