This year, the Salt Lake Community College Men’s Basketball team strives to match the heights they reached in 2009, when they won a national title.
After two months of practice, the Bruins look forward to the start of a new season. This year the team is full of new faces, and although there are only a few returning players, expectations are still high.
“We head into this season with high expectations and confidence in our young talent,” says Bruins Head Coach Todd Phillips.
The Bruins understand that a national championship goal requires hard work and dedication
Reaching their goal also means recognizing the strengths and weaknesses the Bruins face.
“We are not extraordinarily big so we have to make up for it in speed, but we have a very young talented team that can defend well so we will focus on pressure and defense this season,” says Phillips.
Phillips has recruited many young and athletic players in hopes of achieving the team goal of winning a national title. The coaches also stress the ability of the returners to lead by example.
“We have an all-conference returning guard in Skyler Halford, who is a great leader and will do very good for us again this year,” says Phillips.
“We lack in size but we make up for it in our dedication”
Returning players such as Halford and returning redshirt Morgan Hesleph assist the coaches in feeling confident about the examples that are being set.
“We lack in size but we make up for it in our dedication and hard work in practice, also with our athleticism and quickness,” says Hesleph.
While the coaches look for the players to produce and play positions, the players look to their coaches for guidance.
“We as a coaching staff preach enthusiasm and to have fun,” says Phillips.
In preparation for the season, the Bruins will participate in the Jamboree, a conference tournament that is held for all the Junior college teams. In this tournament the Bruins will scrimmage against other conference opponents to gain an understanding of where they are at as a team.
The SLCC Men’s Basketball team will play their first official game against an alumni team on Nov. 1.