Written by: Shane Thomas
The VSU men’s basketball team opens its season Monday against the Trinity Baptist Eagles.
The Blazers have 11 new players around Preseason All-Gulf South Conference forward David Murray, forward Colin Cook and guard Dylan Nsiah.
Head coach Mike Helfer admits he is excited to start the season but warns that his team still has room to improve.
“I think we’re getting better slowly,” Helfer said. ”It’s a process that’s going to take some time. We do some things right, and we do some things wrong right now because we just don’t know. The one thing we’re doing well is (playing) really hard, which has been a staple here for a while.”
Hosting non-conference Trinity Baptist will be an immediate test as the Eagles, who tipped off their season Oct. 31, finished last season with a 24-6 record and won the NCCAA South Region Championship.
“You’re going to try to play good competition whether it be outside the league or in your league,” Helfer said. “We’re excited about getting to opening night. I have a lot of respect for John (Jones) over at Trinity and what they do. Hopefully we’ll come ready to play.”
In preparation for the Eagles, Helfer believes rebounding will be the difference against the Eagles.
“We want to make sure we can rebound the basketball,” Helfer said. “The teams that can really hone in on that are the teams that are going to have success.”
The Blazers will be at home for the first four games of the season as they welcome Florida Memorial, Carver Bible and Johnson C. Smith to the P.E. Complex for the Comfort Suites Classic.
“Every game is important whether you play home or on the road,” Helfer explained. “It’s nice to be playing at home, but it doesn’t guarantee you a lot. It’ll be important that we come out on Monday and play well from the start.”