Utah Valley men’s basketball team started practice on Oct. 12 to start a new season where expectations are high after last season’s 22-7 record.
What was remarkable about the mark was that is was the best finish for an NCAA Division I independent since Notre Dame finished with the same record in 1986-87.
"It was a wonderful season last year, and something that we are all going to tuck away in our memory banks and enjoy the achievements," UVSC coach Dick Hunsaker said. "We have progressed far more rapidly than I think anyone anticipated."
UVSC can’t rest on its laurels and with the start of practice, those memories end with fresh work to be done.
"It’s a new year, a new team, a new schedule and a new group of challenges we face," Hunsaker said.
Replacing four senior starters is a tough task, especially considering the fact that the Wolverines starting lineup was unchanged in their 29 games. "We lost four good basketball players," Hunsaker said. "I made this simplistic comment to my team since the season ended in that I had a group of players who could make a pass to a cutter for an easy basket and they could make a cut to the basket."
This year’s team has talent, but how they step up into a leadership role won’t be determined until the Wolverines first game.
"We’re a little bit stronger, bigger, faster and quicker," Hunsaker said. "But are we better basketball players?"
Hunsaker isn’t worried about his team and concerns about matching last year’s record are not at the forefront of his priorities.
"The success of this team is, frankly, are we able to be competitive at a mid-major level?" Hunsaker said.