November 3, 2006

Men’s Basketball Opens Season With Annual Intrasquad Game

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The basketball hoops will be up and the doors will be open to Newman Arena tomorrow afternoon as the men’s basketball team takes the court for the first time this season to play

its annual Red/White scrimmage.

The team will divide into two teams for its annual intrasquad scrimmage, in which the team will play two 15-minute halves. However, several familiar faces will be missing from the lineup.

[img_assist|nid=19580|title=m bbal|desc=Senior Graham Dow (right) and the men’s basketball team will kick off the 2006-07 campaign with an intrasquad scrimmage tomorrow.|link=none|align=right|width=68|height=100]
“We’re really banged up right now, unfortunately,” said head coach Steve Donahue. “We’re still working through who’s going to be healthy enough to play.”

Donahue said that the coaching staff expects sophomore guards Adam Gore and Jason Battle to be sidelined this weekend, as well as freshman guard/forward Geoff Reeves. Senior forward Ugo Ihekweazu could miss out on the action as well due to a hamstring injury.

Gore is the Red’s only returning All-Ivy selection from a year ago, as well as the team’s leading scorer. Without these four players as well as senior center Jason Hartford — who is out with foot injury — and limited minutes for senior guards Graham Dow and Kevin App, who are still recovering from off-season hip surgery, Donahue will be able test players still looking to break into the regular rotation.

“It is an opportunity for someone else to step up,” Donahue said. “There is a lot of competition to be had.”

After playing two closed scrimmages in game-like conditions during the preseason, Donahue anticipates that his young squad — which includes six freshman and five sophomores on a roster of 18 players — will be ready for this informal introduction to collegiate basketball. Already, the team has been breaking down film from the early scrimmages and will target fundamental strategy on both ends of the court tomorrow.

“The things we’re consistently talking about on the defensive end are being in the right spots and limiting the other team to one shot,” Donahue said. “On offense, we want to push the ball and make good decisions.”

As the team continues to iron out the kinks in preparation for its season opener at Northwestern on Nov. 10, Donahue said his trio of senior captains — Dow, App, and center Andrew Naeve — have been settling into their leadership roles.

“With so many new guys it’s important to show great leadership,” Donahue said. “And they’re getting better at that.”

The Red/White scrimmage will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Newman Arena tomorrow, and it is open and free to the public.