by Brett Hedges
The Lance – Sports Editor
The Windsor Lancers men’s basketball team went undefeated in their final preseason tournament in St. Catharine’s this past weekend, toppling the UQAM Citadins, York Lions and Dalhousie Tigers.
After a successful three game preseason road trip, Lancers head coach Chris Oliver said he was very proud of the efforts of his players.
“This team has shown a positive ability to find a way,” said Oliver. “The continued glimpses of development from many of our young players and newcomers has increased the trust we all have for each other. We are excited for the opportunity to get back to practice to see how much we can improve before conference.”
The Lancers began the weekend with a 79-76 victory over UQAM at Bob Davis Gymnasium in their opening game of the RBC Brock Badgers Oct. 21. Micqueel Martin went off for 38 points along with six rebounds and five assists. Tyler Persaud also had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The night next, the Lancers filled up the stats sheet and defeated fellow OUA counterpart York Lions 95-83. Six Lancers hit double-figures in the contest, led by Mike Rocca and Lucas Orlita, who both knocked down six three’s and finished with 22 points. Rookie Lukas Wood and Martin both scored 12 points with Persaud and Randy Oriakhi also chipping in ten.
Windsor then rebounded to defeat the defending AUS champion Dalhousie Tigers in their final game of the weekend 83-75, Oct. 23. Rocca led the way with 20 points and nine rebounds while Oriakhi pulled off a double-double with 19 points and ten boards.
Oliver said time will tell how much the Lancers gained but for now they will enjoy a successful preseason against Canadian U Sports competition.
“Offensively Lucas, Lukas Wood, Randy and Zrvnar all found some confidence,” said Oliver. “Orlita has never lacked confidence but what he did is get the deserved trust of his teammates as his hot shooting came off positive ball movement.”
Lancers captain Mike Rocca said things finally started to click offensively for Windsor against Dalhousie but their on-court product is still far away from where they want to be.
“I think this weekend showed us that no matter who we lose Windsor basketball always finds a way to be a solid program,” said Rocca. “We had five guys on the court being aggressive offensively. Coach gives us a lot of confidence not only in how he prepares for games but also in the freedom to shoot our shots. When five guys on the court are scoring and executing like we did [this weekend] we will be better then most people think.”
Windsor rounds out their exhibition schedule against Lawrence Tech in Southfield MI., Nov. 5. The Lancers kick off the OUA regular season on the road in North Bay and Sudbury against the Nipissing Lakers and Laurentian Voyageurs Nov. 11 and 12. Game time for both games are scheduled for 8 p.m.