Men’s basketball prepared for new season

 New recruits, new schemes highlight team’s retooling

Harry Range finesses the ball into the basket.

On Friday, Nov. 1, the men’s basketball team plays at home against the Guelph Gryphons, and after rigorous training throughout the offseason, the team is ready to make a comeback.

Last year, the Gaels finished fifth in the OUA, owing to their strong offensive and defensive talents and their solid shooting skills. However, their season was ended by a loss to the Carleton Ravens in the OUA playoffs. This year, they’re aiming for a different result.

“We’re really excited and looking forward to seeing how good we can be,” said Head Coach Stephan Barrie. “We have some really good pieces and we’re excited to see where they can take us.”

The Gaels are focusing solely on their goals as they work tirelessly in practice and in the gym, taking the necessary steps to become stronger and more cohesive on the court.

Specifically, they’re looking to create chemistry between the rookies and the strong group of returning players in hopes of avoiding any regression, according to Barrie.

Last year, the team lost many stalwart players to graduation. Jaz Bains and Jesse and Tanner Graham were key members of the team for years, and are all among the departing class.

With these integral players gone, the Gaels will rely on their talented youngsters to fill the holes.

“We will play differently; we will play to the strengths of this group. They are more defensively versatile than last year,” Barrie said.

The starters this year will include returning players Quinton Gray, Harry Range, and Henry Van Herk. A pair of rookies, Cole and Luka Syllas, will also be part of the starting lineup.

The team also hopes their second-year players can step up into leadership roles this year. Bruno Chan, Cameron Bett, Caelan Scott and Benji Bercovitch will all be part of the rotation this year.

This young Gaels team is excited ahead of their season home opener on Friday against the Gryphons, and they’re ready to start down the path towards a National Championship.

“That will forever be our goal. We are working on being the best we can be.”

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