SCHENECTADY – Both union college basketball teams will travel to play Hartwick this weekend, a Saturday start that will be memorable for a number of reasons.
Each Union squad, for starters, did not play any games in the previous season due to restrictions related to the novel coronavirus pandemic. For the men’s event, Saturday’s game in Oneonta will be its first competition since February 29, 2020, while for the women’s team, the game will be the first since February 22, 2020.
It is strange, then, that head coach Chris Murphy’s union men’s team will begin their season against a Hartwick squad led by Nick Cersei, a union alumnus who had recently been appointed as the Dutchman’s associate chief. Hawks was hired to lead the program after serving. Coach.
And, finally, the matchup for women’s head coach Katie Marcella would serve as the start of their union. . . and will be inside the Lambros Arena, where Marcella previously guided the Hartwick program for six years.
“I just want the sport to be at Union and not Hartwick, but I’m excited for it. I feel comfortable with it,” said Marcella, a Guilderland High School graduate, to replace Mary Ellen Burt. Was hired in early July. “It’s definitely going to be tough, but it’s going to be fun.”
This is exactly how Murphy feels about his team’s matchup with Cirsee, a coach who played a role in recruiting every single player on the Dutchman roster. Murphy played with Circey for one season at Union, later helping to coach Circey and then working with a coach who was hired at Hartwick in July.
“It’s really cool that our first game is against Nick,” said Murphy, who graduated from Union in 2006. One.”
Murphy has a sense of what style Siresi’s team will bring to the court. He said he expected some of the set plays used in Union to run, and the Dutchmen’s head coach said he knew little that his team would be a surprise to the opposition on Saturday evening. Will be
“They’re going to do a very, very good scouting report on us,” Murphy said. “They’re going to be ready for us and what we do.”
Meanwhile, Marcella — who was replaced at Hartwick by Sarah Lombard, a Saratoga Springs native who previously worked as an assistant at RPI — learns a lot about her rival’s roster personnel.
“But I don’t know what they’re going to run because they also have a new coach,” Marcella said.
With her team, Marcella said she wanted to play an up-tempo style and believed “we’re going to play a lot of body” with a group consisting of two class players playing their first college game. Huh. Each of Marcella’s players were recruited while Bert was still the team’s coach, and Marcella stated that a key thing for him was to continue to develop relationships with his players since preseason practice began on 15 October. has gone.
“A lot of it is about connecting with the kids and letting them know that we are here for a common reason,” said Marcella, who began his process of getting to know his new players with a Zoom call and lunch.
At this point in time, what everyone on union basketball teams have in common is an appreciation for what they’re going to do: play a game.
“As a coach, you always feel like you need a little more time – which is crazy to say after 18, 19, 20 months, whatever – without a game at all,” Murphy said. “But we are ready to play someone else; People are ready to compete. It’s exciting to get out there.”
Saturday’s women’s game will start at 5:30 pm and men’s game will start at 7:30 pm
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