Unity key to basketball season

by Brittany Filippini | Staff Writer|

Basketball fans should get ready to see some intense competition on the court this season.

“Fans can look forward to seeing a lot of athletic skill and they should see some dunking because our team is very athletic,” said Head Coach Jeff Oliver.

According to Oliver, the Coyotes size is going to be a huge asset and they will probably be bigger than most of the teams they play, with a few exceptions.

Although the team has lost players due to graduation, Oliver is optimistic that the new additions will have a positive impact.

“The new players will greatly affect this team, it is kind of good to get rid of the old and get started with the new,” said Oliver.

The newcomers can help this season by stepping in and living up to expectations. One thing Oliver hopes to bring to this season is unity in the locker room.

“Team chemistry and work ethic are the two biggest things. If they can do that, then we have a good chance of accomplishing our goal,” said Oliver.

The goal for this season is the same program goals they have always had: “conference championship, regional championship and hopefully one day a national championship,” said Oliver.

According to Oliver, the first timers have shown more work ethic and the ability to compete in practice, which he said is what the team lacked last season.

However, no apparent leader or captain has emerged yet from this team.

“It’s too early to tell who will be a leader, that will happen when the lights turn on in a game situation and adversity sets in,” said Oliver.

A good leader is one who leads not only by example but by bringing others along through a communication standpoint.

The season is just starting for the team and so far they have not faced any major obstacles.

UCLA will be the first opponent. Coyotes will face the Bruins Nov. 6 at Citizens Bank Arena.

Oliver said his team ranked third in conference at 17-10 overall in 2011 and was not able to win a conference championship. However, they have won eight out of the last 10 conference championships.

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