Rebels men’s basketball team looking to add ninth consecutive title
Holly Giesbrecht, CONTRIBUTOR
The Rebels have held the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC) men’s basketball championship for eight years running, and this season, they’re taking aim at number nine.
With a total of eight returning players, head coach Scott Kirkpatrick hopes to start this season more competitive than last season. Last year the team had only two returning players and won just two regular season games.
“[It] helps the team is continuing to win when it matters and I think a lot of players gravitate to that. They enjoy that taste of success,” said Kirkpatrick.
To get that taste, Kirkpatrick has two strategies in place. The first is to have healthy players from start to finish, as he may rest players during practices or limit playing time when necessary. The players must be honest about how they feel and be smart about how they care for their bodies, he said.
Kirkpatrick said the second strategy is to wear the other teams down. He wants his team to tire out opponents’ starters.
“Last year we didn’t have that many guys we could go to off the bench and they would give limited minutes. This year we have a lot of guys that can just play. So we’re going to be able to go a lot deeper down our bench this year,” said Matt Dyck, a returning player.
Kirkpatrick said each new player brings something different to the court. Some are natural leaders, others are quick or play great defence, and one is really tall. Rookie Jasdeep Khangura will raise the height average, standing at six feet seven inches.
“I don’t think there’s one thing that we’re really, really strong at, which
is a good thing. It means we’re really well-balanced,” said Dyck.
Kirkpatrick looks for high character guys who really love playing basketball. He said these guys all “fit the bill.”
The basketball season is already underway. You can see the team’s full schedule at mcacathletics.ca/p/mens-basketball-st.html.
Home games take place at the Notre Dame Campus.