Men’s basketball team looks towards next year with hope

As soon as the final basket was netted and the last buzzer sounded, all the Concordia men’s basketball team concentrated on was putting this season behind them and looking ahead to next year.
Posting a disappointing 2-13-0 record and landing the final spot in the QSSF division, the Stingers did not find that hard to do.
Going into the season with a bench full of first and second year players, one of Concordia’s major problems was lack of experience.
Despite winning exhibition games and taking second place in the pre-season Nike Tip-Off Tournament, the Stingers could not extend their scoreboard dominance during league action.
The younger players had the potential, as shown in those pre-season wins, but their inexperience led to some confusion on the court, resulting in nine consecutive losses in the first half of the season.
Concordia’s first win, a 60-55 home court victory against the Bishop’s Gaiters, lifted the spirits of the young team.
Not only did it showcase a group of players that were starting to feel comfortable with each other, it also tackled another problem that they had up until then: playing the entire 40 minutes of a game.
In previous match-ups the home team would wither away offensively midway through the second half, but that didn’t happen this time.
They were all over the court from the first second to the last, out-playing the Gaiters both offensively and defensively.
They proved that the hard work the team had shown in their practices during the season paid off.
Led by captains Gavin Musgrave and Phillipe Langlois, the Stingers found themselves becoming more confident on the court as the season progressed.
They began to complete cross-court passes from the corners of their eyes and began to cover their opponents exceptionally well.
“The attitude and work ethic on the team was constant throughout the year,” Head Coach John Dore said of his team.
“Often when you lose like that sometimes the attitude turns sour and it didn’t.
“I think that’s why we made such great improvements at the end of the year.”
Improvements that wouldn’t have been there if Musgrave, the only Stinger beyond his second year with the team, hadn’t stepped up.
Musgrave led the team this season with an average of 15 points a game and 2.9 rebounds.
He was also named to the QSSF second All Star team.
Not bad for a player who switched roles from a playmaker to a scorer.
“If we had six more games, we surely could have turned it around,” said the co-captain. “The guys realized their mistakes and each individual progressed.”
Joining Musgrave on the second team was Langlois.
The first-year point guard slid easily into an offensive stride, netting an average of 9.9 points a game with 3.7 rebounds.
That aside, there was still a question of the team’s size – a question that will be on Dore’s mind while recruiting for next year.
With their two largest players at 6’6 in Kurt MacAlpine and Frederic Gagnon, the Stingers were no match for others in their division.
The Gaiters had two players at 6’7″ and one at 6’9″, while the McGill Redmen had five players over 6’5″.
“You have to play with the hand you’re dealt and this is the hand we wound up with,” Dore said of the past season.
He feels happy, however, about what’s in store for Concordia sports fans next year.
“We’re trying to get bigger by recruiting bigger kids. Only time will tell, but I expect a better team next season.”


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