Men’s Basketball Hopes for Winning Year
November 22, 2002
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Agile. Entertaining. Electrifying. The men’s basketball team will be all these things and more as they kick off the 2002-2003 season tonight at East Tennessee State. The team will be returning nine letter-winners from last season, only losing Aron McMillian and Paul Kindem due to graduation.
“We’re excited about the season; we’ve made a lot of progress in the last three seasons, going from three wins to 15,” said head coach Butch Estes.
“This is a different team because it’s going to be more athletic, quick, and fast. The challenge for this team will be the schedule. We’re to go into the top four within the ODAC and want national recognition. There will be more Division I and II teams,” Estes said.
The team added UNCG and East Tennessee State to their slate of games for the season, challenging themselves by facing the number one and two teams in the Southern Conference.
The Quakers placed sixth in the ODAC preseason coach’s poll.
The team finished with a 15-11 record last season, in addition to a 10-8 standing in the ODAC, a school record.
A repeat trip to the ODAC tournament quarterfinals capped off the best season since 1989.
“Our players are pretty good…it’s amazing how good they are. I hope we can keep improving,” Estes said.
“This is the 4th season our coaching staff has been together and we’re the most improved team in the ODAC. This team is beginning on the right track. I think we can win the ODAC.”
The team will lean on captain Josh Connor, as well as senior Matt Lewis, for support as they face the day-to-day challenges of the season. Both expect good things this year.
“We were picked 6th in our conference during the preseason, but our goal is to finish in the top three or four, which I think we can accomplish. I think we’ll finish 18-8. ODAC’s aren’t out of reach,” Connor said.
Lewis, the only senior on the squad, has similar feelings. “We have a good returning nucleus of players, and we had a great recruiting class. It is going to be a very exciting season; we’re ready to prove to the ODAC that Guilford is a top contender,” Lewis said.
The Quakers will have their first home game on Dec. 7, vs. Hampden Sydney.
“We haven’t let anyone know about what we have here: high energy, plenty of fun, an exciting offense, and a devastating defense designed to put fear into the hearts of our opponents,” said first-year Genaro Lawhorn.