While there is still quite some time before they play a game, that's not holding back any excitement about the SFA men's basketball team gearing up for the season.
This is the team's first week of stepping on the court together for practice in hopes they can generate as much magic, if not more, than last year's season.
“We're extremely excited, ready to be back to practice all we can, ready for games to be here, throw on the uniforms, all that,” said junior forward Thomas Walkup.
They may not be the same team, but they certainly have the same dream of doing big things this year.
“I think the potential is through the roof which brings excitement,” said Walkup. “We're ready, we're talented, we're deep, and we're going to be good.”
“I love this group. I'm very excited about the possibilities,” said head coach Brad Underwood.
Coming off a historic season winning 32 of 35 games last year, and going undefeated in conference, can be a lot to live up to entering a new season. The 'Jacks said they're working off the hype of last year rather than the pressure that may come with it.
“I think hype is the right word. I know a lot of people coming up to us saying, ‘Hey, we're pumped for the games. We're pumped for basketball season to get here,' and we feel the same way. We know that we got big standards and losing's not an option,” said Walkup.
“Last year, I put it to bed pretty quick,” said Underwood. “I was thinking of the next year and I don't want to forget what we did, I want to continue to grow on that.”
With six returners, their schedule will be a tough one as they will play teams like Baylor, Xavier, Memphis, and Long Beach State. Four of their games this year will even be televised.
“We're ready for the big stage. That's what we want,” said Walkup. “I don't think anybody wants to be recruited to go play a bunch of D2 and small schools. They want the big boys. They want to be tested.”
It's only October, but this year's talent and schedule already has the 'Jacks thinking about their favorite month of the year- March.
“One thing we try to do is prepare our team in every way for what we may see in conference and ultimately, we got to win three games in March,” said Underwood.
“We want to be conference champs and go play in the tournament again,” said Walkup.
The team still have over a month to prepare for their first game of the season. That game will be November 14th against Mississippi State.
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