Marquette, Mich. (WJMN) – The NMU Men’s Basketball team is anxiously awaiting the start of their 2020-21 season. They’ve been apart for 2 months while on a ‘pause’ due to COVID- 19.
“We’re really excited to start and things are looking really positive lately that we will be starting. January 9th is the first game. December 28th is going to be our first practice back. So, the anticipation of it coming has been really good. I think it gives us something to look forward to,” said NMU Head Coach, Matt Majkrzak.
Instead of getting a few months to get ready, they will have to condense their preparation to just under a week.
“I think the big things are going to be, in a way it’s made you evaluate, as a coach, as players what you really want to focus on. You don’t have time to do all these different things. So, you got to pick the main and most important things and make sure you’re ready to do the main and important things. I know for our guy’s sake, they want to play. For them, they’re looking at it like, ‘okay we have a week of practice, um, coach won’t have time to do all the crazy conditioning things we normally do. So, we get to come in practice and play,” said Majkrzak.
With little preparation time, conditioning won’t be the only area of concern.
“You know, we got a lot of new guys who are very talented and also have some experience playing college basketball. It’s good that they do have that experience playing. Where I don’t think it’s going to be, where I think we have a bunch of freshmen that we’re leaning on who have to catch up. But it’s that mixing everyone together and how the new guys and the returner gel,” said Majkrzak.
The Wildcats will welcome some new faces. Majkrzak says the new additions will give them more depth than last season.
“We added four transfers that all have played college basketball at a very high level. With lost three guys, but we’re bringing in four that have already played. Plus, one freshman that we think is really, really talented. Maybe the most talented freshman in the whole conference.”
NMU bring’s back a strong frontcourt. Junior Dolapo Olyinka and sophomore Ben Wolf are players who will be transitioning to bigger roles this season.
“I think Dolapo and ben are probably two or our best three players on paper. But I think our guard spot is really deep. So, our big spot is maybe a little more front-loaded. Where I feel like we have a lot of good guards,” said Majkrzak.
The Wildcats have big goals in mind. Majkrzak saying in such a unique year, anything can happen.
“If we can get into the top four this year and host a playoff game, i’d like to think for the next two three years we should probably be the favorite, or close to the favorite to win it. We don’t lose anyone, not only next year, but the year after,” said Majkrzak.
The NMU Men’s Basketball team tips off their season on January 9th against Parkside.
- Michigan St beats No. 4 Ohio St 71-67, improves NCAA resume
- Gagner’s hat trick leads Red Wings past Predators 5-2
- Dickinson impresses as No. 3 Michigan routs No. 9 Iowa 79-57
- Men’s Basketball Announces Cancellation Of Purdue Northwest Series
- Sources: Michigan Attorney General to charge former Olympic coach with a crime