The new season brings new hope for the ACU men’s basketball team.
This weekend, the Wildcats will start their season in Moody Coliseum in the Whitten Inn tip-off classic. Friday night, the Wildcats take on the Truman State Bulldogs with a chance to move to 1-0.
The Bulldogs have not had a winning record in several years, so it is a great opportunity to set the tone for the upcoming season with a victory at home.
“Everyone is hungry and eager to get this season started,” senior Desmond Woodberry said. ” I think this weekend will show everyone that this isn’t the same team from last year.”
The Whitten Inn tip-off is a chance to usher in the new era of ACU basketball, and the Wildcats cannot wait to establish home court advantage. All of the anticipation will come to fruition on the court Friday night.
“Playing at home is a reason to be excited.” Woodberry said. “Our first two games are at home. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
On Saturday, the Wildcats will play East Central University to complete their tournament.Â Â The ECU Tigers limped towards a sub-par record in 2010-2011, giving the Wildcats an excellent opportunity to put their first tournament behind them and remain undefeated.
“We want to come out every night ready to play,” head coach Joe Golding said. “We get 28 regular season games, and we want to win them all. We don’t want to just play them close or have a good showing. We are looking to win games.”
Coach Golding will be on the bench for his first regular season game at his alma mater. For most coaches, this moment is what dreams are made of.
“This is a pretty neat experience,” Golding said. “Not many guys in my profession get this opportunity. I am sure on Friday night there will be some nerves and maybe some flashbacks of when I was playing. It will probably be pretty emotional. ”
The Wildcats want to win the conference and make their first NCAA basketball tournament appearance since the turn of century. In order to do that, the culture of ACU basketball has to change quickly, and winning has to be a part of their new brand.
“Winning basketball starts on the defensive end. If you want to win the Lone Star [Conference] you have to play good defense, and you have to rebound,” Golding said. “We are going to be a fun team to watch, and we will be able to score, but we also need play good defense and not turn the ball over if we want to have success.”