Men's hoops trying to shape young team
As many students gear up for the short Thanksgiving break, the men's basketball team is getting ready for its first league game against St. John's University on Nov. 25. Pre-season is under way.
Last year, the Big Green struggled in the first half of the season, but improved in their latter games, giving this season's team hope for success as the players try to improve Dartmouth's record.
"We have tried to pick up where we left off last season and hope to get off to a better start," said Coach Dave Faucher.
With only one senior, Jamie Halligan '95, the Big Green are a young squad with four returning juniors and six sophomores.
"There is a real sense of team, with no divisions between classes," said Halligan.
Halligan, the team's captain, provides the players with direction and tries to be a role model for the younger players while they learn the ropes of college basketball.
"Halligan is a talented player who leads well by example," said Faucher.
Also returning to the court this season are ten of last year's letterwinners, in addition to Halligan. New to the team are four freshmen, Jay Danzi, P.J. Halas, Jason Kemp, and Asa Palmer. The 6'9" Palmer should feel at home with the Big Green, as his two brothers, Walter and Crawford have also played for the Dartmouth team.
This year's team may be young, but it consists of some very experienced and talented players. Returning player and last year's Ivy League rookie of the year Sea Lonergan '97 has proved he is a force not to be reckoned with. Lonergan scored an average of 13.7 points per game in the Ivy League last season and hopes to match, if not improve, his record.
The entire team is looking to improve its record and will do so with the help of Lonergan, as well as Brian Gilpin '97, the seven-foot center who turned down a scholarship from Indiana in order to stay with the Big Green.
"We are looking for an improved record and to be competitive in every game we play," said Gilpin.
Last year, the team played rather poorly, ending the season with a 10-16 record overall and 6-8 in the Ivies. However, the energy of the new players along with the expertise of the returning, should prove to be a winning combination for the Big Green
"Our goals are simple - to get better everyday," said Coach Faucher.
The Big Green are improving, both offensively and defensively, as they practice daily throughout the next few weeks, preparing for their 27-game season.
"We are working on defensive intensity with a well balanced offense that has several players scoring," said Gilpin.
This year the Big Green has another tough beginning, playing some of the best teams in the league, but they hope to fare better than they did last year.
"We are looking to be focused for the full forty minutes [of each game] this year," said Halligan. "We have a lot of potential with a great group of guys."
The Big Green have been focusing so far this year, by practicing for about two and a half hours everyday preparing for the Slovak exhibition game to be played in Leede Arena on Nov. 15.
"We are working to create our own identity," said Coach Faucher. With the talent and determination of the Big Green, anything is possible.