Six forwards added to Laurier men’s basketball team

Photo by Tanzeel Sayani

The basketball season is just two weeks away and as the date draws closer, Wilfrid Laurier Univeristy’s men’s team looks to finalize their roster for the new season.

The team had an up and down season last year. Although they had a promising first half of the season, the inconsistencies and growing pains really started to show during the second half.

After losing a few players, the Hawks went out and added eight new faces to the roster.

The recruiting process isn’t easy, as teams have to look out for much more than talent while they are scouting.

Head coach, Justin Serresse outlined the value of intangibles and the off-the-court aspects that the coaching staff look for in new recruits.

“We look at who they are as a person. Are they hard working? Are they nice people? When I talk to the person is it awkward?, he said.

“So we look at intangibles, non-basketball related things. On the court, it really depends on their position and how they are going to fit in our system. I always say when I recruit a player, I want to have a vision for them. I want to build a project with them.”

“After that, basketball-wise is all the same. That’s the one thing I do differently than everyone else. At the end of the day, I have to spend years with somebody that I like and they have to like me for us to spend hours on the court,” Serresse added.

“It was really just that,” Serresse said, “trying to get a good core at each position, and raise the competition. Three guys at each position means they all have to fight for minutes.”

Adding eight new players to any team can make it difficult for the coaches and players. There’s a natural adjustment period which can cause chemistry issues, especially in the first few games.

However, Serresse pointed out that the Hawks aren’t just building for this year.

“I’m expecting an adjustment period. If that means a slow start, then yes that may happen. I think it will take a while for us to get where we want to be as a team,” Serresse said.

“It’s expected with eight new players and a lot of second-year players getting a lot of minutes. We’re doing a pretty good job so far. I’m more so excited for the years to come. I know this year is going to be a work in progress.”

Out of the eight new recruits, there are six forwards and two guards. This makes a lot of sense for the Hawks as they had strong guard play throughout the season.

The front court is where the Hawks were often out-matched and the six new forwards should help the Hawks strengthen that area.

“We try to get the most balanced roster possible. We were trying to get three players at each position. We basically have that right now.”

“It was really just that,” Serresse said, “trying to get a good core at each position, and raise the competition. Three guys at each position means they all have to fight for minutes.”

This will now be coach Serresse’s second year with the Hawks. There should be a greater familiarity within the team and as the new recruits get acclimated to the system, the team chemistry will only get better.

Serresse stressed a realistic approach going into his second year.

“I’m never the type of guy to be over confident going into any situation. I just go with hard work. I’m more realistic. I know we’re young. The expectations have changed, but I’m excited just as much as I was last,” he said.

“It’s a new season, a new challenge. I’m more comfortable with the school and being a head coach. But there’s still a lot of work to do. I can’t wait to get started with the games. It’s a lot of practicing, it’s slow. I just can’t wait till the first game of the regular season.”

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