Team looks to build upon last year’s improvements
The Santa Clara
October 26, 2017
With an increase in budget and a promising past season, Men’s Basketball will look to put everything they have on the court this year.
In their 2016-2017 season, the Santa Clara Men’s Basketball team had a record of 17-16 overall.
This record proved to be an improvement over past years but still fell short of team and fan expectations. However, gradual improvements are finally showing through.
When asked about the pressures of continuing the success from last year, Head Coach Herb Sendek focuses on further developing his team and integrating new players at the moment.
“We always want to be the very best version of ourselves, but each year is independent and unique to itself,” Sendek said. “Right now we are at the beginning stages of becoming a team and learning how to play together and defining our roles, getting ready for the season opener.”
Coach Sendek seemed unintimidated by the pressures. “I don’t have any particular worries. I just want to do the best job I can, providing the appropriate leadership and coaching for our team.”
In order to achieve their goals, Coach Sendek instills certain core values in his players.
“We have three values we talk about in our program: trust, care and commitment,” Sendek said. “We have four goals that we try to accomplish on a daily basis: to learn, to improve, to connect and to serve.”
As far as their preparation for the upcoming season goes, the team is constantly evolving. When asked if they are preparing any differently for this season than for those in the past, Coach Sendek explained that the team has been playing more in practice—which has helped to adjust their offensive and defensive schemes based on their evolving team and added players. Reflecting on continuing last season’s improvement, junior starting point guard KJ Feagin said, “We continue that success by staying humble and listening to our amazing coaching staff. And as a group, holding each other accountable on a daily basis on and off the court. Taking things one day at a time and letting the rest take care of itself.”
This year the team hopes to use their momentum from their previous season.
“I’m looking forward to how we capitalize off of the success we had last year and to do even better this year because we have a group of guys who are willing to do whatever it takes to win,” senior starting forward Jarvis Pugh said.
Regarding their talented returning players, Pugh said that they “have a group of guys who are experienced and are returners from last year’s team and [he thinks they] can bring that leadership to the new guys and bring them up to speed.”
Feagin agrees. “This team is a good mix of experience and youth. We have more depth than last year and will use that to our advantage,” he said.
The Santa Clara Men’s Basketball team has only appeared in the NCAA tournament eleven times.
The Broncos have not appeared in the tournament since 1996.
In these eleven appearances, they have advanced to the Final Four once and have never won the championship. However, last season’s record showed vast improvement.
Recently, NBC Sports ranked Santa Clara fifth in their West Coast Conference preseason rankings.
Though that doesn’t spell out hopes for a NCAA tournament appearance, this high ranking could help to push the Broncos in the right direction.
Contact Addy Camisa at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.