Tigers are working under the radar
MIKE HAINES/TIMES NEWS Members of the Northwestern boys basketball team for the 2013-14 season include, front row from left, Parker Jones, Brady Mengel; middle row, Collin Breidinger, Josh Williamson, Cam Richardson, Matt Archer, Jonathan Maurer; back row, Ryan McCann, Logan Schwartz, Kevin Markovitch, Jordan Storm and Kevin Shuey.
People outside of the Northwestern boys' basketball program aren't expecting much of the Tigers this season.
From within, they are working on becoming a district playoff team under the radar and head coach Dan Eddinger, is just fine with that.
"These kids think that they can make something happen, even though outsiders may not think so. If they can put some wins together, they certainly can become a district qualifier and that is our goal this year. Our kids are working towards that as it is always our goal."
Northwestern comes in to 2013 with not much clout in the Colonial League boys' basketball realm as the Tigers finished with a 4-12 league record while going 7-15 overall last winter.
"We want to continue to take that step going forward, but not go backwards," said Eddinger of the program. "Obviously this year we want to win more than seven games. There are expectations for this program this year and we are going in under the radar."
A big concern for Eddinger and his squad is the lack of experience as there are only two returning seniors, Collin Breidinger and Justin Betz. Betz is out for the entire season with a torn ACL.
Returning with Breidinger are juniors Cam Richardson and Josh Williamson. The latter of the two, according to Eddinger, has stepped up and has been a team leader along with Breidinger.
Richardson, on the other hand, has yet to make an impact on this team as he sat out the first week of practice due to an ankle sprain and a toe injury that hampered him during the football season. According to Eddinger, he has improved, but is still not ready for the hardwood.
Juniors Logan Schwartz and Matt Archer will be coming on to the scene and making an impact this winter along with Jordan Storm, Kevin Shuey and Kevin Markovitch.
"This team needs to learn to make defense a priority," said Eddinger. "Last year defense was a strength, but for this team it is clearly a weakness at this point. Improving on defense is one facet that has to improve."
On the flip side, team cohesion is a positive, according to Eddinger.
"This team really works well together. They don't point fingers at each other. They really understand the team concept and gel together as a unit."
Northwestern will see a lot of competition in the Colonial League this season with Bangor, and Salisbury being near the top along with Notre Dame Green Pond as well. With all of that talent in the league, Eddinger believes that his kids feel that they can play competitive and win games.
"We definitely think that opportunities exist. The kids understand it and so does the coaching staff. Hopefully Tiger Nation will as well so we can get it going and get some momentum like the fall sports did."
This rebuilding program is just fine with being under the radar for now until they earn a spot in the district playoffs.