As fall sports draw to a close, the winter sports season is just beginning. The Capital University men’s basketball team is looking to improve from last season. Behind just two returning seniors, a young but able basketball program seeks to be a threat in conference play as well as in exhibition.
The men’s basketball season opens exhibition play on Thursday, Nov. 3, against Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne. They will continue their short exhibition season against Bowling Green State University the following day. Both of these contests will be away, taking place in Fort Wayne and Bowling Green respectively. Regular season play will begin on Nov. 15, as Capital takes on Olivet Nazarene University.
Point guard Curtis Geise and shooting guard Tyrel Jackson are the only seniors on the 2016 team, and Geise remarked that there is only one junior. Geise further described the youth of the team as “interesting” but claims that the large sophomore presence on the team got plenty of experience as first-years.
In addition to experience, Jackson claims that the 2016 team has the best chemistry that he has seen out of all four of his seasons played and calls them “a bunch of guys on the same page” with conviction. Both Jackson and Geise believe that the first-year class will do great things beyond this year.
“Those guys came in listening,” Jackson said about the first-years. “They trust us that we know what we’re talking about, and they just step up.”
Although they have yet to play their first official game, the underclassmen will add enormous depth to the team.
“They’re all very coachable,” Geise added, “and if you’re coachable, you’ll be able to grow in four years.”
The Crusaders are playoff hopefuls this year, but Geise says that the young team will take their season one step at a time.
“It’s not unrealistic to say we can get to the stop,” Geise said. “We’re just going to keep getting better, keep growing…hopefully that translates into wins.”
Jackson agreed, claiming that the team needs to get better each practice and each game with the OAC title as their goal.
“If we’re doing that, completing those tasks, I can see us getting to the OAC championship.” Jackson said.
Both Jackson and Geise cite the teams from Marietta, John Carroll, and Mount Union as their toughest in-conference competition.
Despite the young average age in the Capital University men’s basketball program, the team is more ready than ever to take on their opponents. Capital as a whole is looking forward to seeing what the team can do behind the leadership of Tyrel Jackson and Curtis Geise.