SAIT’s basketball teams bounce into the new season
The basketball team is bouncing back at SAIT, with new goals and aspirations set in the minds of both returning and new players.
The men’s basketball team is working hard to have a better season than last year’s.
Last year, they ranked fourth place, this year they’re sharpening up their skills and fighting to be ranked in first.
Assistant coach, Pat Boulin, is expecting nothing but excellence from new players.
“They have to buy into the program,” says Boulin.
“They are treated like returning players, and they have to earn their time like everybody else.”
Returning players also have high expectations, said Boulin.
“They’re expected to coach, and help coach up the rookies, they are expected to lead as well.”
Marcus Bautista, who plays guard, said one of the most important goals this year is player eligibility and rebuilding the team chemistry.
“They [the team] have to be professional off the court as well as on it. It’s hard but you have to do it.
“A lot of our players left, and it is very important that we rebuild the same chemistry again.”
With every team, there is always some elements that are rough around the edges.
Bautista expressed his concerns when it came to the post position, saying it was very slim ever since losing a very dominant player.
The tournament in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia was hit-and-miss for the men’s team.
Boulin said there was a lot of mental mistakes when playing St. Francis Xavier.
The men’s team did win one game in the tournament against the University of Prince Edward Island. They won by eight points.
“It was a real eye opener, they played together. Lots of team chemistry,” said Boulin.
SAIT Women’s Basketball
Team chemistry isn’t an issue on the women’s basketball team.
“It’s [chemistry] our number one priority,” says head coach Ranbir Parmar.
“We’ve turned down highly skilled players to keep our flow as a team the same.”
Parmar’s team finished third last year, and the raw, upcoming talent the team has this year is set to secure them a gold medal.
The women’s team has a lot of potential, with new players, returning players, and dominant duo, Jaiden Hansen and Hannah Helton who recently transferred to SAIT, from the foothills composite.
“They [Hansen and Helton] have a strong bond,” says Parmar.
“They’ve been playing together since high school, and it doesn’t hurt that they’re league all-stars.”
One of the big changes needed on the women’s team is court dominance.
“We need to be in better shape. The more we run the more we can push the floor,” said guard Melissa Woolley.
Court dominance isn’t the only thing that needs to be improved.
“This year we need a lockdown defence,” said Woolley.
Achieving lockdown defence won’t be hard this season according to Parmar.
“We have a bigger team this year, we just need to learn to be tough in the inside,” Parmar said.
The team’s six exhibition games went without a hitch as they finished 4-2, but Ranbir isn’t pleased with the two losses; he has zero tolerance for losing.
“Losses are tough. I hate to lose, especially when it’s a loss based on mental mistakes,” Parmar said.
“New players need to learn.”
Parmar thinks highly of his players, especially Woolley and point guard Alicia Tan.
“Alicia is the best point guard in the league and Mel is the best defender in the league, she’s worked her way to be a captain,” said Parmar.
He thinks only the highest of his team.
“This team’s character on and off the court is something to be proud of.”