Great Expectations for UNBC Basketball

Brady Stark | Contributor

Despite a rather disappointing start to the season for both the men’s and women’s basketball season, there is still high expectations for achieving a spot in the playoffs. Facing Thompson River in the rst week was a tough break as both squads played their hearts out to no avail. One of the bright points to the weekend however was the play of 4th year guard, Rhys Elliott, who was dominant in the 2 game set scoring 29 and 30 points respectively. If the Timberwolves are wanting to make positive waves, they are going to need to do it with a balanced attack and some strong team play.

Elliott cannot continue to carry the team throughout the whole season, especially when the team goes up against the very best in the Canada West. Most of the higher teams in the Canada West have the ability to recruit some of the bigger name students from High schools that don’t go the US college route. With the Timberwolves, they do not have the resources or the prestige of other universities to grab the attention of the game changers, therefore they have to have a system of play that utilizes everyone’s strengths from the starters to the men and women that come to the bench. In many of the games that have been won by the statically weaker teams in basketball, it was the bench players that have made all the difference.

Sometimes there needs to be a war of attrition that needs to be the main game pan when squeaking out close contests. Make no mistake, our men and women’s teams are good and deserve to be in the CIS, but they need to be realistic when looking at their goals for the season and looking at their roster.

Coaches Sergey Shechepotkin and Todd Jordan, have the unenviable task of taking teams that were dominate in the lower league and trying to make them consistent playo contenders every year. With the men, the coach needs to preach a team mentality with lots of crisp passing and some

key perimeter shooting to keep their opponents o guard. For the women, Sergey needs to preach patience to his team as well as the fans that follow them faithfully. Unlike the men, the women’s team is rather young by comparison. With only a few players past their 2nd year of CIS experience, there will be a lot of growing pains as they try to understand the pace of the game as well as how to exploit the other team’s weaknesses. So, what should the expectations for each team be? The men should at least make it to the playo s like last year. Whenever one is developing a program, you always need to strive for better than last year. Don’t expect miracles for this relatively young program but we should see some fantastic close games that we come out on top more times than not. For the women, one should only expect an exciting brand of basketball with some close games and some blowouts peppered in. With this fun style of play we should all hope for some W’s on the scoresheet this year.