Men’s basketball ready for season with Division I talent
Hunter O. Lyle — Sports Editor
After a season that saw 19 wins and a twogame playoff push, the men’s basketball team reloaded their roster with high level talent and are ready to compete for a championship banner.
Despite making the playoffs last season, head coach Scott Burrell said he expects a lot from the team he has now and thinks they can deliver.
“I mean, we have a very good team,” said Burrell. “When we’re healthy, we’re going to be deep. When we’re healthy, I think we can play with anybody, so I expect a lot of wins.”
Replacing talents like rebounding machine forward Luke Beesley, floor general guard Kealan Ives or All-NE10 Select and shooting phenomenon guard Isaiah McLeod can be a difficult task for many teams.
However, the Owls might have found some help in their newcomers; two of which — juniors Greg Jones of James Madison University, a forward, and Khalil Richard of Siena College, a guard—are transfers from Division I schools.
“Obviously we needed scoring to make up for all those points [McLeod, Ives and Beesely scored], and some toughness. I think [Jones] brings toughness,” said Burrell. “[During the recruitment process] I looked for toughness and more scoring.”
When asked who has been stepping up to fill the gaps, Burrell said he first thought of forward Taurus Adams II.
“I think Taurus will have a great year,” said Burrell. “He’s very talented. I think he can do it easily; he’s just got to bring it every night.”
The Owls will also rely on guard CJ Seaforth, a junior who transferred from Division I Iona College just a year ago. Along with working on his shooting form and handles over the summer, Seaforth said he spent the offseason working on how to step into a larger role on the team.
“I want to bring leadership [to the team. I’ve looking and doing research and things like that,” said Seaforth. “I want to bring leadership because, last year, I feel like I was a leader, but not as much as I am this year. Everyone looks at me as a big player and stuff like that, but I want to bring leadership and get my guys going. I want to get everyone comfortable, and I just want to win.”
Seaforth said the team’s goal of winning a championship relies on the team’s health and mindset, something that seemed to plague them last season.
“I think we all have to be healthy in the long run because this is a long season. We have to be healthy, and we all have to stay locked in. Just one person [getting] off track is going to mess everything up,” said Seaforth. “If everyone’s on track and everybody is doing what we have to do — working hard, listening to the coach — I think everything will fall right into place.”
After opening up their season with the Bridgeport University Crossover Challenge tournament on Nov. 8 and 10, the Owls will then hit the road for two games. They will then return for their home opener on Nov. 23 against Concordia College, followed by another home game three days later against American International College.