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Stingers coaches evaluate teams at Concordia Classic

by Eric Beaudoin October 9, 2018
Stingers coaches evaluate teams at Concordia Classic

Concordia hosts annual tournament ahead of season-opener on Nov. 8

The Concordia Stingers hosted the annual Concordia Classic Basketball Tournament this past weekend, from Oct. 5 to 7. Both the men’s and women’s Stingers teams played three games in preparation for the season-opener on Nov. 8.

In the men’s tournament, the University of Waterloo, Acadia University and the University of Regina played. There were also three teams, besides the Stingers on the women’s side: University of Prince Edward Island, Laurentian University and Memorial University.

Both the men’s and women’s Stingers teams won the round-robin tournament.

concordia classic

Rookies like Samuel Lessard (#13) will get a chance to prove themselves to coach Rastko Popovic. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.

The Concordian spoke with Rastko Popovic, head coach of the men’s team and Tenicha Gittens of the women’s team before the tournament. Both coaches used the games to evaluate their rosters for the season.

“There’s a lot of different factors to deal with,” said Popovic regarding the initial roster for the tournament. “It’s an exhibition and non-conference game, so we’ll see what we can learn.”

Popovic also said he wanted first-years to get some playing time to evaluate them.

“For those first-year guys, you just expect them to go out there and play hard,” Popovic added. “They’re going to make mistakes but it’s important to get experience and playing time.”

On the women’s side, Gittens has been focused on defence during training camp, and that didn’t change this weekend.

“Right at this point, it’s the same approach as the summertime,” Gittens said. “It’s not the time already to revamp anything or scrap our whole [game plan]. Nothing is final for our lineup and the players have to prove to me they deserve to be there.”

Gittens also wanted to make sure her players used this tournament to feel comfortable at home, and as a way of preparing to defend their home court come the regular season.

“This is our house,” she said. “We have to win those games we’re supposed to win. We always talk about it, we have to protect our house.”

For the men’s team, Popovic was not able to use his full roster due to injuries that are already plaguing the lineup.

“We’re not going to be at full strength until around Christmas,” Popovic said. “We’ll have a much better idea then and be able to play some different lineups. It’ll definitely help us see where we stand before the season starts.”

Main photo by Alex Hutchins.

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