You might have heard the sound of shoes squeaking against the hardwood and the buzzer going off for the last two weeks in Pershing Arena. Basketball is back in action, and the men’s team will tip off the 2015-16 season this weekend.
After a nail-biting 73-70 loss against the University of Wisconsin-Parkside during the quarterfinals of last years’ GLVC tournament that capped a 20-10 overall record, the Bulldogs enter the 2015-16 season with eight returning players and a few newcomers. Following the departure of four seniors, Head Coach Chris Foster says he is confident this year’s team has the personnel to succeed.
“It’s always huge when you lose two all-conference guards and a five-man, but I think we have enough guys to fill those voids, Foster says. “We still have a lot of guys back from last year’s team and guys that have been on those teams that won 20 games in a season.”
Foster says having those seniors around last year made his first year as the program’s head coach easier, but with just two seniors this season and a roster compiled mostly of underclassmen, he said the ‘Dogs will look to spread the workload between more players.
“I don’t know if we have somebody that’s going to average [22.3] points a game like [alumnus Seth Jackson] did last year, but I think we certainly have a lot of guys that are capable of doing that on a given night,” Foster says. “It’ll be interesting to see how those roles play out.”
Foster says he does not have to make decisions about redshirting players until Nov. 13, and will continue to keep options open through this Sunday’s exhibition game and team scrimmages. Senior guards Cole Myers and Andrew Vander Zwaag were the first players Foster says to watch this season.
Vander Zwaag had 10 starts last year and averaged nearly 19 minutes per game, while Myers made the starting lineup during the teams final three contests and averaged more than 22 minutes per game. Myers says despite the number of returning veterans, the team still will look to incorporate some younger players into this season’s lineup.
“We’ve got a bit of experience back but are definitely going to need some guys without any court-time experience to step up and play roles on the team this year,” Myers says. “We have a good group of guys that are going to be ready to battle every night.”
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