Whitley Bras, Staff Writer
The men’s basketball team at North Greenville University just finished its regular season and conference tournament play. Overall, the team finished 12-17 and for the conference finished 7-11. They finished the season ranked sixth in the conference.
The first round of the Conference Carolinas Tournament was in Wilson, N.C. NGU lost 91 – 74 against Barton College; therefore, North Greenville is out of the tournament. Chad Lister, the head coach for the men’s team says, “I felt like we had a good opportunity to win and just didn’t make enough plays. Tough for us on the road and a disappointing loss, but we fared well in the conference this year.”
The men’s basketball experienced many frustrating losses, but they also had some important wins. When discussing how the team did this season, Lister said, “It was definitely a roller coaster ride. We had some good wins over the top teams in our league. We had some disappointing losses against some teams we felt like we should have beat. Overall, I feel that we’ve made some improvements and we’ve got a really good nucleus returning next year and hopefully bright days are ahead.”
The team was very young this year with only two seniors, so most of the team consisted of freshman and sophomores. The team also had many players with little game experience on the court, so that was a major challenge for the team this year.
When talking about the strengths and weaknesses of the men’s basketball team, Lister says, “We are really good defensively. We finished in the top 25 in the country in defense this year that was really our staple, but we also have some guys that can score and when those two things combine we’re really good.”
When looking at expectations for next year, Lister says “our goal every year is to win our conference and to go back to the NCAA tournament. We [NGU] have not been since 2015 so we are anxious to get back there and win another conference championship.”
There will be many returning starting players next year that include Daniel Burchette, a rising senior, and DJ Brooks, a rising junior. The seniors next year on the team will be Roderick Howell, Logan Holiday as well as Daniel Burchette.
Lister also talked about the recruiting process for players coming on next season. Lister says, “we are talking to a lot of high-quality individuals not only are they good basketball players, but they are great students and have a high character which we feel are important to fit in here at North Greenville.”
As far as postseason, coaching staff tries to give the team some time off. Pre-season training began the first day of classes back in August, so they realize that everyone is exhausted. When talking about expectations for postseason Lister says, “We want our players to continue to lift weights and to stay in shape and to play, but we also want them to be students and make sure that their academic standing is good and that they’re doing what they need to do."
He went on to say that there definitely has to be a balance and they want to make sure that they adhere to that and give them opportunities to just be a student.
Although the men’s basketball season was not as successful as the team or coaching staff had intended, they are looking to grow and become better and stronger for next year.