By Cristiana Votta
Coming off a 75-66 victory over Drexel (2-5), the men’s basketball team (5-4) shoots for two wins in its first weekend of conference play. The Broncs play tonight at 7 against Siena (2-6) and home against Fairfield (4-4) at noon on Sunday to kick off their MAAC season.
A fluctuating non-conference record helped tell the Broncs where they stood as a unit and where there was room for improvement.
“We’ve learned a lot [in non-conference games],” junior guard Nurideen Lindsey said. “It was good for us to go against the teams we played in non-conference to see where we stand as a team overall. It’s given us a lot of confidence to take into conference play. It’s helped us as a team by making us work harder.”
Head Coach Kevin Baggett also felt that the team made the best of its non-conference schedule.
“I think that we’ve learned to get better and play together,” Baggett said. “We look better defensively. We are looking to get better as a team every day. We aren’t worried about any particular opponent, just looking to get better as a team and as individual players.”
The Broncs have made some changes that they hope will lead to future success.
“The games we’ve won have been our best defensive games,” Lindsey said. “Staying consistent defensively and building on the way we play when we’re doing what’s working will be another key to us having conference success. Defense is our identity- — it’s been working for us.”
The Broncs have played many away games that have taught them skills that they will utilize in games such as the one tonight.
“Playing on the road in hostile environments has helped us learn how to stick together and battle through adversity,” sophomore forward Emerson Bursis said.
Although Baggett isn’t for making projections, he feels that if the Broncs continue to get better, they will find success.
“I’m not a predictor; my whole thing is just making sure that we get better, that we defend, play smart with the ball and play as a team,” Baggett said. “We will give ourselves a chance to win it this way. What I’m happiest about is that we’ve been in all nine games and have given ourselves a chance to win. That’s something that makes any head coach happy.”
Heading into the first weekend of conference games, no major changes will be made.
“The lineup will stay the same as it was for the Drexel game,” Baggett said. “We are just going to continue to get better; it’s as simple as that.”
This weekend creates a new start for the team to achieve its objectives.
“Our goal is to continue to come together as a team, have fun and to hopefully win a MAAC championship,” Bursis said.
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Printed in the 12-7-12 edition