Coach Fred Castro’s team struggled in his first season, after a couple of 20+ win seasons under Tory Verdi. The biggest reason for the struggle was the inability to put the ball in the basket. The shooting percentages from last season hurt my soul. However, there is some room for optimism.
Even though the Eagles finished the season 6-25 and needed overtime in their only conference win, the defense was solid. They only gave up 70.7 points while playing in the tough West division. A lot of those points came after the team got frustrated from not scoring many points. In a division with the high powered offenses of schools like Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, and Toledo, that’s not surprising.
Along with a solid defense, there are some good players coming back. Sasha Dailey was the team’s leading scorer with 15.8 points per game on nearly 40% shooting and .35% from beyond the arch. Michah Robinson averaged 10.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists. Tori Easley, the teams second leading rebounder also returns.
Gone is Phillis Webb, who had a fantastic career for the Eagles, joining the 1000 point and 700 rebound club along the way.
I really don’t know what to expect from this season. There are some pieces in place, however the MAC, especially the West, is going to be extremely competitive this season. Castro was in his first season as a head coach and is under 40. Of course there were going to be some growing pains. It will be interesting to see how this team looks going forward. Are they headed for bigger, better things, or will they take a step back? Time will tell.