There will be two new head coaches for the Brock Badgers men’s and women’s basketball teams when they hit the court on Friday.
Men’s coach Madhav Trivedi and women’s coach Mike Rao lead the charge for the Badgers’ hoops programs this season, which tip off versus the Laurier Golden Hawks at Bob Davis Gymnasium on Friday, Oct. 26 at 6 and 8 p.m., respectively.
The men’s team returns to the court following a dominating 21-3 record last season, which ended on a wild playoff run where they reached the USPORTS National Championship and won the consolation final in Nova Scotia last year.
“We know it’s a new season, a clean slate. We’re going to have to earn our way back like everybody else,” said Trivedi. “We’ve talked about executing and playing with poise on the offensive end, and really digging down and competing every possession defensively.”
The Badgers are led by senior guard Johneil Simpson, who registered 14.8 points and five rebounds per game last year, and third-year forward Cassidy Ryan (16.9 points, 4.5 rebounds).
The team leans on second-year forward Daniel Cayer (4.5 defensive rebounds) and playmaking guard Tyler Brown (4.3 assists per game) for ball control.
Meanwhile, the women’s team looks to build upon a record of 6-18 last season.
Rao, who served as the men’s assistant coach last year, is looking forward to the chemistry his team is developing on the court.
“I like the atmosphere these girls have created and trying to put that same enthusiasm on the court,” said Rao. “I am especially hoping to get maximum effort from all our players. I am enjoying the process of growing as a team.”
The Badgers added six new players and are led by seniors: centre Courtney McPherson (9.3 rebounds) and guard Baelie Campbell (9.1 points).
A pair of second-year guards, Kristin Gallant (13.1 points) and Miranda Smith (7.3 points), provide a dynamic attack on offence.
However, the Badgers’ strength will be their shutdown defence.
“We want our identity to be known as a hard-nosed defensive team. We will challenge players going to the rim and become one unit on defence. We are hoping to help one another on both ends of the court,” said Rao. “Offensively, you will see us sharing the ball with plenty of player and ball movement. We are hoping to put defences under pressure by spreading the floor. We are hoping to shore up our perimeter shooting in an effort to expand most defences.”
The Badgers’ schedules are highlighted by ‘Paint the Meridian Red’, a doubleheader versus the Ryerson Rams at Meridian Centre on Friday, Nov. 16. The women start at 6 p.m. and the men at 8 p.m. Tickets available at ticketmaster.ca.