Joseph La Rosa
At one o’clock on Sunday, November 6th, the C.W. Post men’s basketball team will face one of, if not the most, challenging teams of the year: the University of Connecticut. The Pioneers are coming off of a record of 21-10 in Division II, while UCONN is coming off of a season the team was the NCAA Division I National Champion.
Although it is an exhibition game, the team has been working very hard in the preseason and will treat it like any other game. When asked if C.W. Post planned on running any special offensive or defensive schemes against a team the caliber of UCONN, Assistant Coach Kareem Brown stated, “We will treat the exhibition game against UCONN the same way we would treat any other game that we would play against a Division II opponent. We may ‘tweak’ different sets or schemes that we use but, generally, do what we do best.” On offense, he wants to get out in transition, put different players in position to score, be aggressive, and share the ball. On defense, he plans on playing a tough man-to-man, while getting in passing lanes and pressuring the opponent.
With the return of senior guard Stefan Bonneau, who led the team in scoring last season, and eight other key players, the Pioneers are looking toward a good matchup, even with UCONN’s loss of Kemba Walker to the NBA Draft. When asked if he felt that UCONN is less of a threat without Walker, Brown stated, “Kemba Walker was a good player. And, even with the loss of him, UCONN is still a good team. They return a lot of key players from their championship team, so they will be just as tough to beat.”
Coach Brown views the exhibition against UCONN as another chance to prepare for the upcoming season and as a great opportunity for Division II athletes to not only play a Division I team, but to play the defending National Champions.
The exhibition game will more than likely set the tone for the upcoming season, and as long as the Pioneers keep working hard, it should be a long and exciting one.