WATERLOO, Ont. (Thursday, September 28, 2017) – The Laurier Golden Hawks Men’s Basketball team begin a month-long stretch of Non-Conference action Thursday night at home, as the Laval Rouge et Or visit the Athletic Complex in Waterloo.
The Hawks will look to make progress this year on top of last season’s first round playoff exit to Laurentian. Head Coach Justin Serresse
believes that this year’s team will have to face a lot of the same challenges faced by last season’s installment in terms of youth and growing as a team. Serresse and his staff have been hard at work on the recruitment front, bringing in eight freshmen and a transfer for a total of nine new faces this season.
Serresse is very excited about the depth of this year’s team, noting that “everyone has a chance to come into the game and make an impact.” He expects that lineups will change weekly or even daily, depending on matchups, current form, and how certain rotations mesh with each other. That is why we will see everyone receive plenty of opportunities in non-conference play in order to solve some of those questions before the start of the regular season.
Out of the returning players, veteran Hawks Chuder Teny
(Kitchener, Ont.) and Vlad Matovic
(Kitchener, Ont.) have taken on key leadership roles for their younger teammates.
Serresse had a group of seven or eight players from last year’s team working out with him over the offseason, placing an emphasis on ball-handling and passing after the purple and gold had their share of struggles turning the ball over. He was very impressed with the dedication his players showed in improving their craft.
In particular, Serresse noted the growth of second-year guard Matt Minutillo
(Brantford, Ont.), explaining that Minutillo “has increased a lot in his confidence, improved his ability to create on and off the ball, and developed his shooting consistency.” The growth should compliment the toughness and defensive acumen that Minutillo displayed in his rookie campaign very nicely.
Following Laval, the purple and gold will host Fanshawe College next Thursday at the Athletic Complex before participating in two tournaments. The first will take place at the University of Waterloo from Oct. 12-14, with the Hawks matching up against UQAM, MacEwan, and Regina. The second will be in the Nation’s Capital from Oct. 20-22, with matchups set against Bishop’s, Concordia, and the host Ottawa Gee-Gees.
During the next month before the regular season, Serresse would like to see his players work on playing with a high pace, as well as playing together and trusting in their teammates.
The Hawks will open their regular season on the road in St. Catharines on Oct. 28 to take on the Brock Badgers.