by Geri Lynn Utter
John Dzik, Cabrini’s athletic director and the men’s basketball coach, is working overtime along with his players to prepare the team for a competitive season.
“I expect it to be a good year; however, it depends on the team effort put forth and the attitude that surrounds that effort,” Dzik said.
After all, a team is only as good as its players. If every player does not bring the same amount of effort to the game, the chances of a successful season lie solely on the shoulders of a few players. It is impossible to leave the fate of an entire team in the hands of a few capable players. Each player must contribute equally to the game in order to beat the competition.
“We are only as good as our last time out,” Dzik said.
This may be a sore spot for some players, but last year the basketball team was defeated by Misericordia in the semi-finals. What is even more ironic about losing to Misericordia, is that the team beat them two times earlier in the season. The two previous times the team defeated them was during the regular season; and the last time the team played Misericordia defeated Cabrini on their own turf in the semi-finals.
“Last season was an upset, we didn’t have the right attitude and we didn’t respect our opponent,” Tim Maddox said.
It is all in the attitude. The team was confidant they would beat Misericordia in the semi-finals, so they did not put forth the right amount of effort in order to defeat them.
“Last year we did not communicate well, we didn’t gel right,” Laval Pinckney said.
This year, the overall focus of the team has concentrated more on the communication they have with each other.
“This season, we have a better grasp on understanding one another`s contributions to the game,” Pinckney said.
In order for the team to rise above the rest this season, they must improve on their technique and decision making while playing the game.
“If the team works on shooting, free throwing, their scoring technique and the fundamentals of the game it would make for a more competitive season,” Dzik said.
At the present time, the team has no go-to player, someone to score the points.
“Hopefully, as the season progresses a go-to player will emerge and begin scoring the ball,” Dzik said.
“The key to success is based on attitude, fight for each other instead of with each other,” Dzik said, in order to give his team a few words of encouragement.
Aside from the concerns expressed by Dzik, in the same token he did not hesitate to praise his team for their hard work.
“Our team has a lot of depth; we have two or three qualified players for each position,” Dzik said.
Depth is a positive attribute to possess because the team does not have to worry about replacing an injured player with an less competent player.
” The team has an overall good size in accordance to height and bulk,” Dzik said.
Depth and size are definitely positive qualities for a team to possess, but the most influential compliment Dzik could give was when he said, “In general, the team has a good, wholesome attitude that will continue to improve throughout the season.”
The team is definitely confidant that with the hard work of each player and effective coaching techniques of Cabrini’s coaching staff, it will make it to the PACs and maybe even the NCAA Tournament.
Tough teams to watch out for this season are Widener University, College Misericordia and Alvernia College during the regular playing season. Also, keep an eye out for Beaver College and Neumann College in the play- offs.
Fans can check out the men’s basketball team in action, at the annual “blue and white game” on Tuesday, Nov. 14th at 1 p.m. in the Dixon Center. And can also go out and support the men’s basketball team as they battle it out against Wilkes University at home on Nov. 21st.