A slow metamorphosis is operating in SFU men’s basketball team. With several recruits and a new head coach, the 2016–2017 roster can hardly be compared to last year’s squad.
The Clan took over Columbia Bible College for its second exhibition game, with a 96–53 win. UBC transfer Kedar Wright led the team once again with 20 points. Redshirt Junior JJ Pankratz registered 19 points. Pankratz, who is one the few players returning from last year, was named as one of the co-captains of the 2016-2017 team. Freshman Graham Miller registered 15 points in the contest while another one of SFU’s new recruits, Othniel Spence, had 14 points.
As for the Clan hoping to strengthen its roster with new recruits, redshirt freshman Michael Provenzano seemed to have adapted to the team quickly. The point guard had some impressive moments on the court against Douglas College and Columbia Bible College.
It has only been a week since SFU men’s basketball went back on the court, but Former UBC player Kedar Wright already convinced the crowd of his talent through his electric performances. Wright scored the most points in both exhibition games and played a total of 42 minutes combined.
“I think we’re still growing as a team. There are still a lot of things that we need to clean up, which was evident today especially in the first half,” said Wright. “We were a bit messy on the defensive side in the first half. We’re still getting used to play with each other. I think we responded pretty well in the second half and there’s definitely going to be a lot of growth this year [and] I think we did as good job as a team. I’m excited to play again.”
Head Coach Steve Hansen, who was part of the coaching staff last season as an assistant coach, looks forward to learn from last year’s mistakes with his fresh team and get better results.
“I think we need to change the way we start games. They do get the job of running their personal offence, and that’s a very tough game to prepare for, but we just didn’t come out for the challenge in the first half. It was good to see some of the leaders at halftime take over, and we came over with a different attitude in the second half. It was good to see some adversity today.”
Even though the Clan shined for its first two exhibition games — SFU opened its exhibition schedule with a 97–63 win over Douglas College — Coach Hanson is still looking to solidify his new team and put together stronger collective performances while adjusting a new combination of players. Coach Hansen has already showed us what the Clan is capable of with some quality basketball and will be able to rely significantly on seven new talented faces, as well as more experienced players such as seniors Hidde Vos and Gibran Sewani.
The Clan will now take on Quest University in another home game on November 5. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m.