Reported by Emelie Peacock
B.C.’s college basketball season has just begun and the Falcons are preparing for another shot at the PacWest provincial championship after a disappointing finish last year.
New players and a new coach for the teams this season
Both the men’s team and the women’s team were eliminated in the first round of the championships last season. This year the women are a rookie team with 11 new players and a new coach, while the men’s team is more experienced with nine returning players.
Winston Brown replaced Mike Evans as head coach this spring after stepping down from 14 years of coaching the team. Brown said he has implemented on- and off-court changes to get young players ready for the season.
“We’ve incorporated in our practices more working out, more agility, more shooting. So that’s the on-court stuff. We’ve also implemented study hall and tutoring to make sure that they do take care of that student aspect of the game,” said Brown.
An optimistic start for the Falcons
The changes are paying off, said Brown, with several successful exhibition games played and no injuries going into the season, compared to five injuries this time last year. The new team is positive about their chances for making it to the PacWest championship.
“I think there’s a possibility we can make it to the provincial final if we work hard and I feel like with this team, with everyone’s motivation, whatever we want to do we can get there” said guard Adina Oprea, returning for a second year with the Falcons.
Men’s head coach Paul Eberhardt is positive about the maturity and cohesion he sees among his players.
“The thing I really like about this group is they are really selfless, they really care about each other and about the team and I think that’s just as important a characteristic as anything else,” Eberhardt said.
Falcons player is keeping his eye on the prize
Ravi Basra, guard and last season’s PacWest rookie of the year, is aiming for a national win.
“I feel a lot more confident going into this season. Everyone has a lot more experience under their belt so I’m looking forward to what happens next,” Basra said.
Both teams play their first game of the season on Oct. 28 at Langara College.