By Jaeden Landenberg, Byron Garcia & Haily Oskey (email@example.com)
The University of Wisconsin – Green Bay’s men’s basketball season is just about to start this season, and the big question is, how is the team going to perform this year?
The team coming out of last season with only five wins out of the thirty games played is going to be challenging for the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay (UWGB) men’s basketball team to overcome. The team has gone through several changes in the past 4 years with an entirely new coaching staff, the continuous flow of athletes going to the portal, and the overall fact the team has been in a drought for some time now. This year the team is bringing something that they have not had in a long time, and that is the determination for success.
Head coach Will Ryan is now in his third season of taking charge of UWGB’s men’s basketball team. With his return of being the head coach and maintaining some form of consistency for the team, there are hopes that this will be the remedy the team needs for success. Not only has the head coach come back for another year, but as well as only a handful of returning players such as Cade Meyer, Randy Tucker, Brayden Daily, and Nate Jenkins. Despite the losing record, the coaching staff, athletes, students, and the community are eager to see what the team has in store for the season.
Being able to figure out if the team will be successful or not for the 2022 – 2023 season will depend on many different things. Will the team have chemistry? Will there be a consistent starting lineup? Has the team improved at all from last year? Are returning players being used effectively? Has anything changed since last year? So many other determining factors that are unknown. However, even though it might not all be unknown now, the team has just played their first game together in an exhibition matchup against St. Norbert’s College. UWGB took home the victory 45 – 40.
Cade Meyer, a returning player, states, “Team chemistry is getting a lot better as time goes on, having a lot of new guys takes some time to build that chemistry… We’ve been doing a lot to build that chemistry”. With any team, having chemistry and a bond built between players is going to play a role in the overall success of the team. When it comes to the almost new Green Bay team, this commodity is challenging to come by, especially for only being together a couple of months prior to this season starting. Not only is chemistry between players going to be a factor for this young team, but the importance of leadership from returning players who will be guiding the way for the newcomers and showing them the ropes. Recruit Davin Zeigler stated, “It’s important having returners on the team because they already know the system and Horizon League opponents. They have experience and know what the coaching staff wants.”
Jared Swanson, an assistant coach for UWGB, emphasizes the importance of leadership and the role the players play in a recent interview, stating, “The returning players have already been through the ringer… but every school is different… looking at Cade Meyer, Randy Tucker, Nate Jenkins and making sure they are being vocal on the court… leadership is very important.” Assistant coach Swanson goes into further detail about how important it is for these players to be there to lead the team and to help the new players understand the program that they are in now. Through this process, Swanson explains, “It’s not all about wins and losses, but it is very important.” Swanson understands that there are a lot of variables that go into creating a great team. This is all just a part of the process, and UWGB is figuring those variables out.
UWGB has a consistent coaching staff, including head coach Will Ryan, returning players who have all seen playing time and fill the role as leaders, and a well-round group of recruits who are determined to showcase their skills and also their effectiveness as a team. Such factors have the potential to set UWGB up for a redemption year. Only time will tell whether or not the team is ready to take on its competition and bring glory to the university’s name.