By Blake Penfield, Sports Writer
The wait is over. The ACU Wildcat men’s basketball season is about to get underway with the first game against Texas-San Antonio on Thursday.
Who are the new players? What differences will there be between this season and last season? These questions about the beginning of new seasons are even more relevant this year with ten new players on the team.
However, one question head coach Jason Copeland cannot quite yet answer is who the starters will be.
“We’re still experimenting with starters,” Copeland said. “The competition has been good in practice. A variety of different guys could start this year.”
But Copeland said he plans on at least one or two of the three returning players starting as long as their performance is consistent.
“We’re looking for a group that can get us started well.” Copeland said. “They need to establish that way we’ll execute on the offensive end and need to play the defense it will take to help us win some games,”
Forward Igor Vrzina, forward Marko Nikolic, guard Philip Brooks and center Marcos Hubner were some of the Wildcats mentioned by their teammates as players to look out for.
Although this is only his second season to coach, the players are very pleased with his methods and style.
“Coach did a good job bringing in guys who can all get along well and gel together. The guys he recruited give us a good shot to win,” Holson said.
Players agree the team’s improvements in height and depth will be valuable to them over the course of the season.
“Having this many new guys, they’ve really gotten good at getting used to each other,” Copeland said. “It can always be better, but they’re really bonding well.”
Copeland said he wishes they would bond as well with the ball.
“We’ve got to take care of the ball better and cut down our turnovers. We also need to eliminate our bad shots. Those are two things we’ve really got to work on,” he said.
However, confidence between the coach and the players is high going into the new season.
“We’re much farther along at this point this year than we were last year,” Holson said. “I’m excited.”