This year we bleed blue

By Christine Blom
October 7, 2005

Jerry Zurek

Basketball season is quickly approaching, and the Cavaliers are dying to hit the court.

“This year we are going to bleed blue,” Matthew Macciocca, men’s basketball head coach, said.

Macciocca, new to the program at the end of last season, is pumped and more excited than ever. Being able to coach his favorite sport at one of his rival schools of his glory days has him psyched for the 2005-2006 season.

“I used to be scared to come into this gym when I played,” Macciocca said. “I want to bring that fear back. I want players to be afraid to walk into this gym.”

The men will begin practice on Oct. 15, and no one can stand to wait any longer.

“We have been practicing almost everyday since we got back to school,” Adam Bowen, a junior English and communication major, said. “Everyday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. we’re in the gym for something like a captain’s practice.”

Though there is nothing official about these practices, but it has been demonstrating the dedication and commitment that the men are making to their season, which will be a rebuilding one.

“We may be a young team, but there is a lot of talent this year,” Bowen said.

Because Macciocca is an addition to the program, he has made some changes. Using his experience in Division I, he has changed the structure of the program, adding a little more structure in order to keep the men on track.

“Every guy on the team will go to study hall until their cumulative GPA is at least a 2.5. If it drops below, they’ll go back until they get it up again,” Macciocca said. “The primary reason they are here is their education. Basketball is the fun part.”

Some fans and spectators were worried that players would not adjust as well as they did to the replacement of Coach John Dzik. So far, majority of the players are satisfied, as well as impressed.

“I like him,” Bowen said. “I like how he’s dedicated, organized and how he’s very structured. Things are a lot more team oriented, especially with the practices and study hall.”

According to both Bowen and Macciocca, the team is all about unity.

“If one player gets in trouble, they are all going to get in trouble,” Macciocca said. “We are like a family. I’m like the father, and they are all like my children, but they are the ones who have the power. I’m just there to watch over them.”

The Cavaliers are anxiously waiting to hit the court, especially for the fans.

“This year we want to pack the gym. The game is as much about the players as it is the fans,” Macciocca said. “We want to make the games crazy, and we want to bring in the surrounding community as well. We want to make it fun to see great basketball.”

As far as the team goes, after the junior varsity team was disbanned, all team members are returning member with the exception of two freshmen and one senior.

“Since we’re closer and more together, everyone is taking the season very seriously,” Bowen said. “Even tough we are a younger team, we’re still talented and will be able to compete with anybody. Coach Macciocca’s new structure is what is going to set us aside from everyone else.”

Posted to the web by Brian Coary

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Christine Blom

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