At the start of a new season there’s always one question … can a championship be won? The men’s basketball team has a promising chance to get that coveted title that has eluded them in past years.
Last season saw a disappointing loss to New Hampshire in the America East quarterfinals. While they were not able to reach their ultimate goal, they did qualify for the College Insider Tournament. During this intense competition, the Retrievers made it to the semi-finals before being defeated by Texas A&M Corpus Christi. While the team fell a bit short, they still proved they can hang with some of the best teams this country has to offer.
The win total from last year nearly doubled the likes of the 2015-16 season. That success is encouraging because this year UMBC returns four of their five starters as well as nine letter-winners to complete a veteran lineup.
The progress of the team will be tested during the later part of the season when they begin conference play against their America East rivals. The beginning of this tough stretch will start with the team who ended their dreams last season, the New Hampshire Wildcats. This game has the potential of being a fantastic indicator towards whether or not the Retrievers can do some serious damage come playoff time. So far, this year’s team has been great during crunch time in order to win close games, and can use their vast experience to pave the way for the younger contributors on the team.
With another year of coaching under his belt, Coach Ryan Odom has officially implemented his coaching style that has proved to be beneficial in growing this team into one of the conference’s best. This season looks like it could finally be the year that UMBC takes back an America East Championship.