Men’s basketball gears up for season

By Tom Burton

DeKALB | The men’s basketball team will look to improve upon its first 20-win season since the mid-90’s when they take on Indiana State University 7 p.m. Friday at the Convocation Center.

The team finished the 2015 season with an 18-1 record at home. The Huskies also lost to UC Santa Barbara in the Vegas 16 quarterfinals in Las Vegas March 28. The players and coaches believe getting off to a good start, especially at home during a three-game homestand to begin the year, is critical for a good season.

“From a basketball standpoint, you want to win [at home] because it makes you so much better,” said senior center Marin Maric. “The fans that come to the games are like our sixth man and provide us with great energy and support.”

Senior guard Aaric Armstead said the team has tried to implement camaraderie and cohesiveness in practice because it is a key component to winning basketball games.

“At this point, we’re just trying to bring everything together and into form to start off the season,” Armstead said. “We just need to get everyone to start working together and operating as one so we can get off to a good start to the season.”

The last time the Huskies faced the Indiana State Sycamores was 2008 when the Huskies defeated them 86-79 in DeKalb. The Sycamores finished the 2015 season 15-17 overall and 8-10 in the Missouri Valley Conference.

The success the team hopes for will only come if the seniors play at their best and the sophomore class continues to rise, said the coaching staff.

“I thought [the sophomore class] all had incredible freshman years,” said Head Coach Mark Montgomery. “Now it’s time to take their game to another level.”

With only two seniors on the roster and a young, inexperienced core, Montgomery has a young group this year and will look to improve on a game-by-game basis.