Over the last couple seasons, the Brock men’s and women’s basketball programs have slowly been growing stronger to build a winning program. Last season, both teams fell shy of the playoffs, but have come back stronger through the pre-season.
So far this pre-season, the men have a 7-3 record, with three of those wins coming during their trip to Sweden. A couple weekends ago the men travelled to Manitoba for three games, and successfully won each game. Brock won 103-86 versus Brandon, 81-52 versus Winnipeg and 79-75 versus Manitoba. They did fall to Mercyhurst University this past Thursday at home, but head coach Charles Kissi was still happy with his team’s performance.
“I think we are playing better defensively than we have in the past,” said Kissi. “We still have a long ways to go, but our defence is getting better.” The men held all Manitoba teams to under 50 percent shooting.
Defence and rebounding was the area at the end of last season that Kissi wanted to see improved. So far in pre-season rebounding has improved. They won the rebounding matchup in every game over the last couple weeks, including the loss to Mercyhurst. Brock has done a good job getting off to early leads as well this preseason.
“Isn’t that nice?” Kissi said with a huge smile on his face when talking about early leads. “We didn’t have any of that last year. That’s what happens when you defend, you can score better.” Brock has about four players that have the ability to put up 20-points per game, which is a huge plus for the team.
The men still have five games left on their pre-season schedule. They play Victoria on October 22 at the Bob Davis Gym at 12:00 p.m. (the inaugural Badgers for Bullying event). This game is already sold out with 800-900 grade six, seven and eight students around the Niagara region.
Also this weekend, the Badgers will host the RBC Classic with weekend games versus Concordia, Ryerson and Windsor. Brock plays Concordia October 23 at 8:00 p.m., Ryerson on October 25 at 6:00 p.m, and Windsor at 4:00 p.m. on October 25. All games will be played in the Bob Davis Gym.
“These games are to prepare us to get to McMaster,” said Kissi. “We aren’t overlooking these games, as we need to get better.”
Over on the women’s side, pre-season has been the exact start they needed. With a 4-0 record and only one game remaining, the women have looked much improved from last season. Their wins came against Niagara College (69-42), Memorial (83-53), Laurentian (50-45) and Saint Mary’s (59-54).
The women are still a heavy three-point shooting team, something that showed last year and into pre-season so far. They led the country in three-pointers attempted, and finished third in made three-pointers. They attempted 19 or more three-pointers in every game so far this season.
Their pre-season will end on October 31, when they head to Rochester, New York to play Roberts Wesleyan. Both the women’s and men’s seasons begin November 4 in Hamilton as they travel to McMaster.
The teams don’t’ play their home opener till November 27 when they welcome Lakehead to Brock, the women’s game beginning at 6:00 p.m. and the men at 8:00 p.m. The team sold out three of their nine home games.