The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Men’s basketball preview: cautious optimism ahead for Quakers

The Guilford College men’s basketball team ended last season on a losing streak, but the team has high hopes for the 2014–2015 season.

“We were up 9–0 and ranked 16th nationally at one point, but later, towards the end of the year, we hit a wall,” said senior Matt McCarthy, all-conference guard.

“We lost three games in a row, and the first round of the ODAC tournament was a huge disappointment for us. This year, we’re going to try and make sure that doesn’t happen again. This is my last year, and I want to make sure I go out on a high note.”

The team is currently ranked as the third seed in the preseason ODAC poll despite losing senior all-conference forward Jake Hopkins and gaining several new members through transfers and incoming first-years.

Returning players aren’t concerned about their less-experienced teammates.

“I don’t think we’re afraid of having young people on the team,” said sophomore guard Michael Reiney. “We had three first-year starters last year, and we won nine games in a row.”

Reiney reflected on his time as a new member of the team.

“I think the hardest transition for me was coming to college and having three- hour practices every day,” said Reiney. “It’s a daily battle to get through, and you build up your self-confidence and your mental confidence to where these battles aren’t so hard.”

Trevor Hyatt, sophomore forward, also spoke about the younger players and where the team needs to improve.

“We’re excelling better on the offensive side than we are with the defensive side right now, so we need to get that up to speed,” said Hyatt.

“It’s very different from anything you learn in high school, and it’s a big transition from being in high school to being a first-year at Guilford. I think we have some first-year that could give us some minutes and do well for us.”

These young players have solid support from their more experienced teammates.

“It’s definitely a new experience,” said McCarthy. “When you’re a senior in high school you’re kind of the man of the team, then you come to college and you have to start over and prove that you can play all over again.

“They’re doing a great job of that. We respect them and are really looking forward to playing with them.”

Men’s basketball head coach Tom Palombo has high hopes and a clear game plan.

“We’ve got a solid senior, sophomore, first-year class,” said Palombo.

“I think we have the ability to be really good if we continue to improve every day, and we’ve had some really good practices. We’ve just got to work on keeping things consistent throughout the season.”

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