When last school year came to a close, it marked the beginning of a fresh start for the Red Storm men’s basketball team.
After a very hectic off-season, where both junior Larry Wright (Oakland University) and sophomore Michael Cavataio (Holy Cross University) announced they wouldn’t be returning for the upcoming year, the team needed to have a productive summer.
“This summer was very important for us,” said head coach Norm Roberts. “The guys learned a lot from last year playing in one of the best conferences in college basketball. When you’re a young team it’s tough. Our main goals this summer were to get stronger in general, work on our individual games and just being creative.”
This summer the team practiced once a day for two hours. Besides their main practices, they participated in both weight room sessions and pickup games. Most of the team took classes during both summer sessions.
Today marks the first opportunities for freshmen guards Quincy Roberts and TyShwan Edmondson to practice with their teammates. Fellow freshman, center Phil Wait is currently rehabbing from a minor knee injury suffered in a pickup game during the summer.
“The new guys haven’t been able to practice, but they’ve all been together for quite a while and everyone has been doing a great job in the weight room getting stronger,” said Roberts.
“We had guys on the team who needed to gain weight and they did. We needed guys to trim down and lose weight and they did that. “
Roberts praised most of his team, yet noted the great improvements of sophomore center Dele Coker, redshirt sophomore forward Rob Thomas and senior forward Anthony Mason, Jr.
“With Mason, this was a big summer for him because this was the first summer he didn’t have an injury,” Roberts said.
This upcoming Labor Day weekend, the Red Storm will travel to Cancun, Mexico, to face two international clubs: Angeles de Puebla, a first division Mexican professional team, and Monterrey Institute of Technology, a team that’s represented Mexico at the last five World University games.