With the men’s basketball season officially tipping off tonight, the team faces challenges and sets goals in preparation.
Mike Jeffers, head coach, said despite having only two returning starters, he is still optimistic for the season.
“[We] only have two starters back which is two more than we had last year,” said Jeffers. “We didn’t have any starters last year.”
With the rest of the season ahead of them, Jeffers said the team can change as the year progresses.
“I’ve been through so many seasons that the team you start with in October is not usually the team you end up with in March,” said Jeffers.
In looking towards the rest of the season, returner Anthony Lupardus, guard, said this year is different because of the goals they have set.
“We know what our goal is this year: to make it back to nationals,” said Lupardus. “Last year, as freshmen, we just wanted to play basketball. We didn’t really have a goal.”
Agreeing with Lupardus, fellow returner Marquawn Wilson, forward, said that with this season’s goals, it’s easier to lead the freshmen.
“Last year, as freshmen, we were just new,” said Wilson. “Now, we can lead our freshmen better because we know [the expectations and goals].”
With seven freshmen on the team this year, Jeffers said the change from high school basketball to the collegiate level can be difficult.
“College is different, it’s more competitive,” said Jeffers. “Adjusting to the level of expectations, there just such a higher level of expectation that most freshmen are not accustomed to. It’s a wake up call for a lot of them.”
After months of practice, the team has their season opener against Indian Hills Community college. In preparing for the game, Lupardus said they are doing what they can to get ready.
“Right now, we’re really working on what we want to do,” said Lupardus. “[We’re] going up and down the court, working on every possession. Every possession counts.”
Wilson said he agreed that it just boils down to working hard.
“Right now, we’re just trying to compete,” said Wilson. “[We’re] giving it our all.”
The Cavs play IHCC tonight at 7 p.m. Check out the rest of team’s schedule, standings and news here.