(Image courtesy of Capital Athletics)
The Crusaders Men’s Basketball team has returned to action these past two weekends, with long-time coach Dame Goodwin still at the helm. Goodwin enters his 26th year as the head coach for our Crusaders, but this season doesn’t look the same.
At this point in the season, our Crusaders Basketball programs are normally entering their second round of conference play, and have settled into a rhythm and developed some team chemistry, as well.
However, due to changes decided by the OAC and NCAA, the season has just begun and looks a lot different than in the past. Instead of games scattered throughout the week/weekend facing different teams, the Crusaders will play the same OAC opponent on a Friday and Saturday in the consecutive weeks to come.
This week, Goodwin sat down with us to address how some of these changes will affect him and his team.
Goodwin said, “It certainly changes how you approach the game, but I don’t mind it, to be honest. Our program is still based on what we did 20 years ago. Everyone knows what we are going to do no matter when we play them.”
The Crusaders began their 2021 campaign on Jan. 22 against Muskingum University at home. Unfortunately, our Crusaders fell just short in their season opener losing to the Fighting Muskies by three.
However, our men rallied together and traveled to New Concord the next night and came away with a one-point victory on the Muskies home court. The Crusaders erased an 11 point deficit in the second half to come away with their first win of the season.
“Losing Friday at home sucked,” said Sr. Captain Joe Hartman, “especially when you hold a conference team to just 58 points you expect to win. However, we came together as a team afterwards and realized this year is unique and how we respond will say a lot about our character and ability to face adversity.”
After the opening weekend draw against Muskingum, the Crusaders were set to go to battle against the Student Princes of Heidelberg this past weekend.
“They’re an athletic team with about three or four players that have played a lot and have a lot of experience on the court,” said Coach Goodwin on Wednesday. “We will need to stay strong defensively, get better spacing, and convert shots at the rim in order to walk away with a pair of victories this weekend.”
Following their first four games, the Crusaders Men’s Basketball team has a 1-3 record, as they head into another double-header against the Fighting Quakers of Wilmington this weekend.
The Men will be led into action again this weekend by their three Seniors Joe Hartman, Reed Bradfield, and Dylan Luper. Tip off starts at 7 p.m. EST this Friday as the Crusaders look to bounce back from a few early-season losses, and defend their home court.