Saturday, September 28, 2013

Picking up where we left off in Bahamas on first official day of practice

By Rob Senderoff
Head Men's Basketball Coach

Yesterday was the first day that teams across the country were allowed to practice. The first practice is always an exciting day. We’re in a bit of a different situation than some other schools in that we practiced for 10 days a little over a month ago prior to our Bahamas trip. So for us, it was more of a continuation of where we left off than it was a start.

On the first day, we wanted to get back to some of the defensive principles and defensive foundations that we put in place over the summer. I think that was emphasized yesterday, as well as in our second practice today. Next week, we’ll start incorporating some of the offensive stuff.

I think our guys are in a good frame of mind right now. They’ve competed pretty hard in these first two practices, which is good to see.

The new NCAA rule allows us 30 practices within a 42-day window leading up to the first game of the season. We play our first game against Ohio Northern 42 days from yesterday, which allowed us to begin on Friday.

I think it’s going to be beneficial for us in a lot of ways. It allows us to give our guys more recovery time because we have more days to get our practices in. We used to go two-a-days and only give our players one day a week off. And I think that caused a lot of sloppy play, fatigue, and even some injuries early in the year. I really believe that this will be a good thing for us.

Coach Senderoff instructs the team during Saturday's practice.
We’re really excited about the new season and what lies ahead for us. We are scheduled to play a school-record 18 home games at the M.A.C. Center this year and hope you all have an opportunity to watch us play. Season tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased on or by calling our ticket office at 330-672-2244.

I am pleased to be able to support a great cause in the American Cancer Society this coming Thursday at the second annual Northeast Ohio Coaches vs. Cancer®Tip-off Reception at Mr. Anthony's in Boardman. Along with three other head coaches from the area, I will be discussing our team’s outlook for this season. For tickets or more information on the event, visit    

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Working hard to get ready for preseason practice

By Kris Brewer
Junior, Point Guard

After getting back from the Bahamas, it was kind of a down time for us with classes starting right up. But we got right back to work after Labor Day and our whole team has been getting to the gym every day for the past 3 weeks now. We come in for individual workouts in the afternoon and then we lift weights after that.

One of the main areas of that I’ve been working on during individuals is my ballhandling. I’ve worked a lot on penetrating and then either taking the shot or finding open shooters. I want to do anything that I can to help our team win. As a point guard, that means taking care of the ball and creating open shots for my teammates. 

Our posts have been doing a lot of big man work. They do rebounding drills, dunking drills, blocking drills, and just working on improving their overall skill level.

We usually have open gym a few times during the week as well. Those have all been very competitive. Everybody’s been coming in and playing hard. I’m very competitive and want to win every time that I compete—whether it’s a drill during a workout, a game in open gym, or the MAC Championship game. A lot of these guys are like that and it makes us all compete that much harder when we go against each other.

I see a lot of confidence in our new players. I think playing in the Bahamas helped us all, but it especially helped the newcomers feel more comfortable with our system.

Friday is our first official practice. There should be some great competition in the preseason. I feel like we have so many guys that can play, and everybody’s going to be competing for spots, including myself.

We’re all looking forward to the season and November 8 can’t get here soon enough!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Kicking off the year with a little softball

By Rob Senderoff
Head Men's Basketball Coach

I am proud to announce that the winning tradition continues, as the coaches/support staff came away with a 10-8 victory in the 12th annual Labor Day men’s basketball players vs. coaches/support staff softball game on Monday. We have never lost this game and are now 12-0 all-time.

It’s a great tradition for our team to play softball on Labor Day. It’s a nice way to start the year and to welcome everyone back in the fall. It also helps to get our guys’ competitive juices flowing as we get ready for preseason activities.

We had a close game last year and the players felt like this was there year to finally get a win. They scored four runs in the 1st inning, and I think got a little overconfident. We scored one in the 2nd and four in the 3rd to take a 5-4 lead.

The lead stretched to 8-4 before they cut it to 8-6 after five. We added two runs in the 6th and held a 10-8 lead entering the 9th after the players scored once in each of the two previous innings. In the 9th, we retired them 1-2-3 to claim our 12th straight win.

I was winning pitcher and Kris Brewer was losing pitcher as bragging rights remain with the coaches and support staff for another year.

Most importantly, the game is about having a good time together and serves as a way of thanking our support staff for all that they do for our program. We have a BBQ for everyone after the game, and I usually cook the food. To this date, I can proudly say that there have not been any reported cases of food poisoning as a result of my cooking.