The Wildcats were unable to keep up with the No. 18Â Baylor Bears, as they were blown out 103-75 in an exhibition loss thursday in Waco.
“We showed a lot of fight in that game, and most importantly, we stayed together as a team,” said junior L.C. Alexander.
The Wildcats were led by senior center Steven Werner, who had 15 points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field and 9-of-11 from the free-throw line. ACU also received significant contributions from senior guards Elliott Lloyd and Eric Lawton, who each finished with 12 points. Freshman guard Parker Wentz finished with 11 points on 4 of 6 shooting including 2 of 4 from 3-point range.
“We proved that we can score, but we have to defend and rebound a lot better,” said senior Desmond Woodberry.
The team is in its final weeks of preparation, after coach Joe Golding took on the challenge of bringing in eleven new players to the team this season with only one returning player from last year’s squad.
“At first it was pretty hard; I mean it’s going to be a struggle whenever you have, literally, a completely new team,” said senior Trevor Wait. “Now, I can say that our team chemistry is excellent.”
After a sub-500 season last year, Coach Golding hopes to put more games in the win column and make ACU a competitive team in his second year as head coach.
“Coach Golding is a go-getter and his attitude is contagious,” Alexander said. “When he talks to us, we get fired up just listening to him and he brings out the fight in us every day.”
Senior guard Woodberry is the only letterman returning to the team in 2012-13, so his leadership and experience will be needed desperately this year.
“This team is going to change the face of ACU basketball and how it is viewed,” Wait said.Â “We have excellent senior leadership along with talented and coachable freshman.”
With a new and revamped roster, the Wildcats will also be changing their playing style from last year.
“We’ll be an inside out team,” Wait said. “We’re going to be very systematic, disciplined and unselfish. We’re going to do what we do and do it well. We’ll manage the flow of the game.”
The Wildcats expect big things and have stated that even with a new team, they still expect to be competitive and win games.
“A successful ACU basketball season is going to be contending for the LSC Championship,” Wait said.
The Wildcats will open the regular season Nov. 10, in Dallas when they take on Dallas Baptist University.