Basketball season has returned, and fans should start yelling and getting out their keys to send the other team home.
The men’s basketball season is beginning tonight against the Southwestern University Pirates in Georgetown with tip-off at 7 p.m.
The team is returning from last year’s championship in the ASC division and the advancement in the NCAA Division III National Championship. The Crusaders are ranked 10th for the beginning of the 2008-09 season.
The guys have some returning starters but also lost some at the end of last season. As a result, new freshmen are being trained so they know the expectations of the team.
Entering his tenth year of being the head coach for the Cru basketball team, Ken DeWeese believes that it’s just a transitional stage for the new members of the team.
“The adjustment does not happen immediately,” he said. “(It) happens gradually over the entire season and from game to game and practice to practice. That is the way it is done every year.”
Senior shooting guard, Tim Lytle, believes the incoming players will bring their own spark to the team this season.
“I think the rookies have a pretty solid idea of what we’re striving for as a group,” he said. “They realize that they were brought here for a reason, and some of them are going to make an impact instantly. I’m really excited to see what they will bring to the squad.”
The new players have to adjust from high school play to colligiate play. The fans get more into the game, coaches are harsher and practices are more rigorous.
Senior post Michael Ivey spoke about what the workouts are really like.
“Practices consist of a lot of post and guard work,” he said. “(We) work on our defense. We work on our offensive play and play up and down full court in game like situations.”
Ivey wants to re-live what the team did last season, but with one thing different.
“Our goal is to return where we got last year, only not to lose, but to win a national championship,” he said.
With a slightly different goal in mind, Lytle would like to accomplish a personal hope.
“My main goal for this year is to be consistent,” he said. “I really want to know how it feels to dunk the ball in a game, but if not, warm-ups will do.”
Regardless, the players are ready for the upcoming season to get under way. The team’s first game against Southwestern University is tonight in Georgetown with tip-off at 7 p.m. The first home, which is over Thanksgiving break, is Nov. 29 against U.T. Dallas. Regardless, the team encourages team support at every match.
“I got to give a shout-out to all the Cru fans,” Lytle said. “We need ya’ll again this year. Let’s bring another trophy back to Belton, Texas.”