INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY
Bearcats basketball season preview
Men’s team looks to win by working hard
|The men’s basketball team will out-work its rivals this year, head coach Kevin Broadus predicted last week during a media day at the Events Center.
“I like the way the team showed a hard work ethic during the summer and the pre-season, with or without coaches around,” he said.
Broadus, in his first season with the team, said his emphasis now is on finding ways for new and returning players and coaches to come together. “We’ve got good individuals, but we’ve got to mold them into team players,” he said. “One guy can’t win games.”
The Events Center crowd gives their scores for Lazar Trifunovic's dunk. He was the winner of the slam-dunk contest during Late Nite Madness, held Oct. 12.
|Broadus wouldn’t give a starting lineup, but said he expects Richard Forbes and Milos Klimovic to be impact players. He also credited strong senior leadership from Mike Gordon, Giovanni Olomo and Lazar Trifunovic with pushing the team to do better.
“You need leaders in the locker room, you need them on the floor,” Broadus said. “You need them in your study hall.”
Broadus plans to implement a new system this year. “We are going to see a lot of defensive pressure on the ball and teammates covering each other’s backs,” he said. “On the offensive side, there will be a lot of motion and discipline if it is going to work.”
The men’s basketball team opens its season at St. Bonaventure on Nov. 12, with its first home game against Quinnipiac at 7 p.m. Nov. 14.
Highlights of the Bearcats’ non-conference schedule include home games against George Washington and Central Connecticut State as well as an away contest against Akron.
Binghamton has also been selected to participate in the sixth annual O’Reilly ESPNU BracketBusters series. The Bearcats will join fellow America East schools Albany, Boston University and Vermont in the two-day, 50-game event, which typically features prominent teams from mid-major conferences.
Binghamton’s game will be an away contest, with the Bearcats hosting that team at the Events Center during the 2008-09 season.
The event was created to give exposure to teams with NCAA Tournament aspirations, and has grown from a field of 18 teams in 2003 to the 100 teams selected this season. A minumum of 12 games will be televised nationally.
The pairings and television schedule will be announced by ESPN in early February.
Experienced players lift women's team
|With a deep squad this season, including a pair of returning all-conference players, the women’s basketball team is aiming to become one of the elite squads in 2007-08.
“We have high hopes for this season,” head coach Rich Conover said. “We have four experienced seniors and return the majority of our scoring and rebounding. It’s our goal this year to take that final step and play for the conference title this year.”
Injuries hurt the Bearcats early during the 2006-07 campaign but they regrouped during the conference portion of the schedule and earned the No. 4 seed in the America East Conference Tournament.
Laura Franceski gives Baxter the Bearcat a high five as she is introduced to the Events Center crowd during Late Nite Madness.
|Binghamton came back from 17 points down in the quarterfinal round to defeat Boston before losing to top-seeded Hartford in the semifinals.
“We suffered some tough injuries during the season,” Conover said. “But that opened the door for some of our freshmen to gain a lot of experience. That makes this year’s group much more prepared than it would have been.”
Conover said he likes the sense of urgency he has seen from his players already. He noted the seniors had great summers and are all healthy heading into the season.
Conover expects great things from senior center Laine Kurpniece, he said, as well as newcomers Theodora Panteli and Jaki Goldner.
The women open their season Nov. 10 at Portland State and play their first home game Nov. 28 against Bucknell.
Highlights of the schedule include a pair of games against St. Bonaventure as well as a Dec. 4 game at Duquesne.