A cohesive unit. Men’s basketball Head Coach Bob Schlosser said that he has the same two goals every season. He plans to make his team a cohesive unit and to have the team work harder than their opponent. Schlosser holds a meeting at the beginning of every season and has the players create personal and team goals.
Ben Cable, a junior guard, said, “We definitely will look to turn some heads this year. We’re not going to get much respect from other teams around the conference after losing our two leading scorers from last season to graduation, as well as our third leading scorer to a season-ending injury [senior Brian Allport—torn ACL]. I think we will surprise a lot of teams.”
Schlosser said the players usually create goals for themselves, such as “win the Conference, do not lose at home and make the NCAAs.”
Cable said, “I think that I need to become a more consistent scorer, especially after the preseason injuries of Tom ‘the Coondog’ Cooney and Brian Allport.”
Cooney and Allport have both torn their ACLs this preseason and will be out for the entire season. “We will definitely miss Tom Cooney’s deadly outside shooting ability, as well as Brian Allport’s inside scoring and defensive presence. We will lean on the senior leadership of co-captains, Kyle McConnell and Dan Silver,” said Schlosser.
The team lost six seniors last year, three of whom were starters. Coach Schlosser described each player as an “integral part of the team.” Keith Fogel and Joe Flanagan were also All-Conference picks and lead the team in points last year.
Schlosser said, “replacing those points that graduated will be difficult for us, but we’re looking forward, not backwards. We’re hoping we can develop what we need to to keep pace and be competitive.”
Despite losing a number of seniors from last year due to graduation, the team is gaining some valuable first- years.
According to Schlosser, “We really think this is one of our best first-year groups, even though it’s still early. We’re only three practices in, but we’re still really excited about the group we’ve got. It’s going to take a few weeks to determine if these first-years can be varsity contributors or not, but I’d like to believe that there are some that are going to help us.”
Joining a team as a first-year can be a bit intimidating because positions are already established and bonds are already made. Regarding this issue Schlosser said, “We always work on [team bonding] and I think even now the guys have done great jobs, the upperclassmen in particular, with working with the first-years.”
Schlosser continued by saying, “I think our captains, Dan Silver and Kyle McConnell, have done a great job of integrating the first-year guys. It’s an ongoing process, and we try to really work on the chemistry and getting everyone to mesh without having the upperclassmen separating themselves from the freshmen.”
There will be a lot of changes on the men’s basketball team this year. Losing the graduating seniors is always tough, and the preseason injuries have also hurt the team.
Every three years the basketball team has gone overseas to play internationally, and this upcoming summer would be three years since their last trip but, due to the economy, they will most likely push it back until next summer. The team is currently trying to raise funds to decrease the price but, for financial reasons, they will most likely still have to wait a year.
Still, both coach and players agreed to not dwell on their losses and to do their best this season. The team is scheduled to play their first game of the season against Penn State Harrisburg on Nov. 15 in Thompson Gym.