After a magical run through the NCAA Tournament that concluded with a trip to the “Sweet Sixteen” the UNI basketball team has high hopes for this upcoming season as well. The Panthers lost three starters from a team that won a second straight Missouri Valley title and stunned top ranked Kansas in the Midwest Regional.
Coach Ben Jacobson says they’ve had so much experience up and down the line up and they have some coming back from last year and they will be counted on this year. Guard Kwadzo Ahelegbem is one of four players with a significant amount of experience. He says they are fortunate that the four players care about leadership and the younger guys will have to work hard to pick things up as fast as they can.
Jacobson admits there is more of a buzz surrounding the program going into the season. He says from a coaching and player standpoint they are excited about starting practice and getting as good as they can, and he admits the outside interest is higher because of what happened last year.
Jacobson says this year’s team is confident because of what has happened in the past few years. He says success is a big part of the confidence and growing and getting better. Jacobson says the overall mentality of success has been good for the program.
By Elwin Huffman KOEL Oelwein