The Men’s basketball team has begun practice for the 2017-2018 regular season. USF has lost six seniors, leaving a lot of shoes to be filled. Fifth year senior, Tom Aase, says he has high expectations and hopes for his last year on the team.
“We are a different team this year. A lot of guys can drive and really create opportunities on offense as well as spot up shooters, Aase says.” “Hopefully were able to be better defensively just with some of the new athletes we brought in.”
Aase says he thinks this years’ team is a good mix of returners, news players, and transfer students. Right now, the teams main focus is to make it to the tournament. With the current team and coaching staff, Aase says that could definitely be a reality.
“I mean we made it to the Pentagon, but that is no way near the top of our goals right now. We want to make it to the NCAA tournament and make our run in the tournament,” Aase says. “We feel like we have a pretty talented team and some good coaches, so I feel like we can definitely make that a possibility.”
Head coach, Chris Johnson, says the upcoming season holds several challenges for the Cougars.
“Everything is just going a little bit slower; this time of year, for the last two years, we’ve had the same team. So we’ve been able to kind of jump right into things, whereas last year we had to start at ground zero,” Johnson says. “Which is fun as a coach, to get a whole new group of personalities and talents in there, and kind of see what fits best with them.”
One of the main components of a successful team, is having someone to lead and inspire them. Coach Johnson says he is trilled at Aase, Zack Whestle, and Drew Gieberts have stepped up to the plate to fill that role.
“Whestle and Aase where already sort of leaders as juniors last year. Gieberts, is the leader of the group more vocally, than the other two. [Whestle] and [Aase] are “show you” guys, as they lead by example. [Giebert’s] a little bit more vocal,” Johnson says.
Like many leaders, they have all waited for their time to be the voice of the team. Coach Johnson is in favor of the more, the merrier.
“Everybody can lead in their own ways. Some of the younger freshman are still trying to learn their way but their time will come too. I like teams where you have multiple leaders instead of just one guy who always has to be the voice,” Johnson says.
The Men’s basketball will travel to USD on Saturday for an exhibition game.
Hosted by Tucker Stout | Voiced by Vessel Reporter Grant Sweeter | Edited by Jeff Harman & LaShe Tatum