After what has been a testing start to the 2011 Varsity calendar, all eyes are on the Basketball court. As one of the most-fast paced, high-scoring, and unpredictable games university has to offer, it has the potential to be the most nail-biting game of the season. The Men’s team has been solid from the start, with players old and new from around the globe performing well in the BUSC and Cup games. Coach Martin Richardson is optimistic about the game against Trent, stating there will not be any player to especially watch out for, “as everyone has contributed to some fantastic wins, with different top scorers every game”. As an invasion game in which Uni has achieved scores in the 80s, we can therefore expect every player on court exploiting chances, with Post Players, such as President Gareth Lewis manning the basket and Guards, such as Captain Patrick Daley keeping the defence moving, opening up the field for some explosive scores.
Basketball has everything to offer as a spectator sport, as stressed by Coach Richardson, “it’s fast, it’s energetic, and if you switch off for one second, the other team will be scoring down the other end. It is played by great athletes.” Unlike football, players have to master practically every position, from defence, to guard, to post, driving in for a basket, then rushing back to protect their basket, hopefully to get a steal. There are several ways to shoot, whether it is a 3-pointer, a lay-up inside the key, or the ultimate crowd-pleaser, the Slam Dunk, which will no doubt be a favourite for Uni’s Andrew Threipland. Whilst the USA have the likes of Kobe Bryant to boost the level of technical skill and fitness the sport requires, Uni has been training hard and improving with every session to build on their previous experience with the Trent side to provide the crowd with an exhilarating game.
Despite tough losses in the two previous Varsity meetings for Men’s Basketball, Lewis is determined to make this Uni’s year regardless of Trent’s Strenghs; “We know they can shoot and that they are quick, but we roughly know how they are going to play against us. We aim to exploit our larger physical side”. With “a point to prove”, there’s little doubt that the team intend to repeat some of their best performances, such as in the BUSC quarter final where the end score was 87-80, and a compelling away-game against Warwick this season. As a highlight of their season, the Men’s side are embracing the challenge, and the pressure, to secure a win for Uni.