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Men’s Basketball looks to bounce back

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Men’s Basketball looks to bounce back

Michael Enyaah, Staff Writer

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The AIC men’s basketball team looks to reestablish its reputation in the Northeast Conference.

After a disappointing campaign in NE-10 play, the team has looked past it but is determined to avoid the same fate. With more than half of the main core returning and with the addition of several versatile guards, the team looks to improve their overall record from a year ago. The Coaches’ Poll predicted the Yellow Jackets to finish sixth in the Southwest Division.

The team has a few games coming up that will show their talent, including games facing the University of New Haven and Pace University.

“This will be a very tough test for the guys, especially this early in the season. It will help us as a team to identify our areas of weaknesses to build on,” Head Coach Andy Burkholder said.

Le Moyne is coming off an impressive 2017-18 season, they posted a 15-5 record in conference play, and went on to win the championship at the end of the season. The Yellow Jackets will wrap up a two-game homestand when the College of Saint Rose comes to town.

With their next two games being away from home, it is very important that the team stays focused. In the last two years, the Yellow Jackets have posted an away record of 9-19.

However, the team is very confident about the season.

New Haven finished the season in the middle of the pack while Pace finished second to last just about Assumption college. These are games the guys should be looking forward to.

The schedule lightens up a bit when they welcome Robert Wesleyan College and Southern Connecticut State University to the Butova Gym for two of four non-conference matchups this season.

Shortly after that, they hit the road again. This time around they take on Adelphi University in New York. The last time these two programs met, Adelphi came out on top twice. The first game ended 98-96 in favor of the Panthers while the second game was even closer with Adelphi stealing it on their home court 78-77.

The rivalry between these two schools will continue when Adelphi hosts AIC on December 6th, in New York. The reverse fixture is scheduled for Feb 26th, in the Butova Gymnasium, this will also be senior day.

“I am very confident about this upcoming season, I feel like we have the right pieces to do something really special. That will only be possible if everyone puts in the same effort” Junior Forward Zekiah Owens said.

He has been played a vital role since his freshman year and the coaching staff expects him to make a bigger leap this year.

Finishing with 11 wins for three consecutive years, Coach Andy Burkholder and his men will be looking to increase that win total. The team will play a total of 28 games this season with 8 of them against non-conference opponents. The Yellow Jackets will play the part of the “underdogs’’ in most of their contests.

Although, this may not be a bad thing. This could just be the extra motivation the team needed. With the team predicted to finish at the bottom of the standings, they will be seeking to show everyone that this is a new season. It’s all about trusting the process now.

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Men’s Basketball looks to bounce back