The Cabrini men’s basketball team is preparing for its upcoming season which begins on Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Wells College two-day tournament. The team, who has been practicing for about two weeks now, will have its first scrimmage on Friday, Nov. 1 and will have their first local game against Eastern University in the Battle of Eagle Road on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
The players are very excited about this year’s basketball season to begin and have been taking the time to prepare for less than two weeks before the season starts. The team has been working hard and is very hopeful for this season.
“I’m pretty happy with our efforts so far,” head coach Tim McDonald said. “I think we’re putting in a lot of new stuff [and] mixing in a lot of new players, which I think is kind of bringing a freshness to the team, kind of a new beginning for us.”
McDonald added that one of the big themes for the team this season is to be present and to concentrate during practice. He’s also said to lock in on what the players can do better during practice so that they will be ready both physically and mentally for when the first game comes.
According to Keith Blassingale, a senior marketing major and forward, the team is working through new defensive drills, which was an area in need of improvement last year.
“We’re just trying to work as hard as we can right now, get conditioned and try to just get everybody on the same page trying to make sure that we’re clicking when the first game comes and give all the energy that we can this year,” Brice Parks, a junior business management major and shooting guard, said.
With the new season quickly approaching the team has many expectations and goals that they hope to meet.
“Our expectation every year is to come in and compete to try and win our conference championships so that’s our goal and really just taking it by a game by game basis,” McDonald said.
Blassingale hopes to have a strong season and wants to make the Atlantic East Championship and hopefully make a run in the tournament.
Parks hopes to win as many games as possible this season, try to win the conference championship and make a rebound this year.
McDonald is very pleased with the effort the team has been giving at practice and is excited about the new additions and those returning to this year’s team.
He explained that the team has 10 new players and that he is very excited for the Blassingale’s return, who transferred to Rosemont College last season after two seasons at Cabrini. He believes that Blassingale with have a big impact this season, seeing as he was the team’s second-leading scorer two years ago and has already racked up over 1,000 points in his career.
“Adding someone that can score like him is certainly going to really help us that way and then a couple more transfers and our six freshmen are really going to help us this year and add that new freshness and energy that we need to get everyone else going,” McDonald said.
“We have a good group of guys returning that are kind of learning as well and growing up into better roles,” he said.
“It’s definitely nice to get new additions,” Parks said. “Keith coming back this year is going to help a lot.”
Parks later added that returning players coming off of injuries will be very beneficial to the team because the players are used to working alongside one another and already have strong team chemistry.
“Injury always affects us but I think we’ve been pretty healthy for the most part,” Blassingale said.
“When everybody’s healthy and everybody’s back it’s a good mix of guys,” Parks said.