Manigat fills needs with transfers
Willy Manigat is looking forward to his second season at the helm of the Brock men’s basketball program.
The bench boss is excited to build on a respectable 12-10 record in 2019-20, thanks to an excellent recruiting process.
“I can’t reveal the names until the players are officially (accepted) into school because of our Brock Sports guidelines but we’re super-excited about the roster we have assembled,” he said. “We wanted to bring in some transfers who would impact our program. It’s guys who have experience and are a little older.”
Among the recruits being brought in are: a former Ontario Colleges Athletic Association player of the year, who has three years of eligibility remaining; a pair of Division 1 transfers with two years of eligibility remaining; a 6-foot-10 junior college transfer, who is a strong rebounder and rim protector; and, a bunch of young players who will see their roles increase in second year and beyond.
Lucas Orlita, a transfer from Windsor who red-shirted last season will be playing this season, but a number of players won’t be back in 2020-21.
“There have been some changes made with the team and unfortunately we had to say farewell to some of the guys and we wish them nothing but the best,” he said. “Some of the guys who were on the active roster last year or who were red-shirts last year won’t be returning.”
Despite the pandemic, Manigat is working hard preparing for his second season.
“I have meetings upon meetings online and I am just getting everything organized with the team,” he said. “It may not be status quo but it is business as usual.”
He calls seven or eight of his players every day except Sunday when he talks to everyone.
One morning last week, he went out to a basketball court to film a bunch of workouts he would later send to his players.
“It’s so they know what they should be working on now that some of the restrictions have been lifted and courts are starting to be opened,” he said.
If there was no pandemic, he would be running practises in the evening. The entire team typically stays in St. Catharines all summer to work during the day and train and scrimmage in the evening.
Manigat is confident basketball will resume.
“I am believer that there will be a season in one way, shape or form and my biggest thing as a coach has always been the development of my players,” he said. “Even throughout this time, my biggest focus has been how to make my guys better, stronger and faster, but most importantly from a basketball standpoint, smarter.
“As long as the development continues, once the season begins we will be alright.”
Manigat and his staff are going through every game the team played last season and analyzing what went right and what went wrong.
“It’s all about perspective and from the men’s basketball perspective, we are making the most of this time and are super-excited about what the future holds for this program and the players who are invested in it.”
Manigat extracted every victory possible from last year’s roster and was happy with his rookie campaign.
“I don’t think it was a secret that we let a lot of games that we could have won slip away but when you sit back and reflect, look at the game film and the roster top to bottom, I don’t think I am ever a coach that is pleased, but 12-10 was realistically what we were as a basketball team,” he said. “We lacked speed and athleticism at certain positions. Those are needs we wanted to address and I think we have done that this year in recruiting.”
Manigat’s goal is to build a program that is a contender to win every year.
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