The men’s basketball team will open up its season with an exhibition match against the Lithuania national team Thursday at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.The Frogs look to rebound from last year’s 6-25 record, and senior small forward Blake Adams said they have a fairly simple goal in mind when it comes to doing that.
“We just have to win,” Adams said. “Chemistry is a big part of this, and it is good right now, but it can always get better.”
A big change from last season is the many new faces playing for the Horned Frogs. They are adapting well to the system, but the whole team still needs to keep working on it, Adams said.
“Right now, we need to work on the system in general because we have a lot of new faces,” Adams said.
During the offseason, the Frogs have worked considerably harder to get better in all areas of the game, senior point guard Neil P. Dougherty said.
“As a team, our goal is to pick up the tempo this year,” Neil P. Dougherty said, “so we have been really working on getting in shape, ball handling, and shooting in order to improve our transition game.”
Sophomore power forward Kevin Langford said weight training and running made this offseason particularly tough, but he said it should help the Frogs out during the season.
Leadership will be an important component in the Frogs success this season as well.
Head coach Neil Dougherty and Langford said they agree that most of the leadership, at this point, is coming from the seniors but know it can come from anywhere.
“It is not necessarily where you get your leadership, you just have to get some,” Dougherty said.
The upcoming match should bring excitement and help for the season to come for the Frogs, Langford said.
“It should be interesting,” Langford said. “I have never played against a team from another country.”
Dougherty said he believes this match will be very beneficial to the Frogs in relation to the large players they will face later on during the season.
“Typically, when you play a foreign team, what you are going to have, as an oddity, is you will have to defend big guys who step out and shoot the ball,” coach Dougherty said.
This will help the Frogs with later conference matches because their future conference foes will have ability to shoot from the outside with their large players as well, Dougherty said.
“It is good preparation for our conference because there are some big guys who step out and shoot jump shots,” Dougherty said. “We have to get our four and five guys to come out and defend on the perimeter with pressure, just like our little guys do.”
Overall, the Frogs want to be able to compete at their fullest potential this season, Neil P. Dougherty said.
“As far as long term goals go, I just want to be able to say that we never gave up any games, and every game that we won, we earned,” Neil P. Dougherty said.