A tale of two teams How the basketball pre-season sets the Warriors men and women’s basketball teams up for Ontario University Athletics (OUA)

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With OUAC’s regular basketball season in just a week, it’s time to recap the results the men and women’s basketball teams have presented in the pre-season thus far. This is a tale of two teams, in opposing forms and record.

The men’s team, which had a slow season last year, continued in similar form into the pre-season. In the 2022-23 OUAC season, the team only took three wins in the 22 regular season games with a -300 point difference in the 19 losses incurred. The men’s team would be considered the second-lowest ranked team with their 3-19 season after Laurentian University.

The men’s team found themselves facing similar problems to last year. In the 10 pre-season games, considering both the OUAC pre-season and pre-season tournaments, the team has taken no victories. The closest they came was at PAC, where they lost 68-67 to Concordia during the second game of the Don McCrae Naismith Classic (a re-named version of the annual Naismith Classic that pays tribute to legendary Waterloo basketball coach Don McCrae).

The women’s team, who led the Western Conference against teams like Guelph and Windsor in the 2022-23 season, found similar success to last year. They had 17 wins and five losses with a +230 point difference, second only to McMaster’s Marauders. However, both McMaster and Waterloo were knocked out in the semi-finals of last year’s post-season.

This year, the women’s team aims to continue their progress from last year. In the eight pre-season games, they took six victories, losing two games at the Mickey Place Memorial Basketball Tournament at the University of Prince Edward Island to Acadia and the University of Saskatchewan. At the Don McCrae Naismith Classic, they took three back-to-back wins, which was preceded by another pre-season win at their home court in PAC.

The most dominant show of victory thus far has been game two of the Don McCrae Naismith Classic, where the Warriors went 67-30 against the York Lions. The game saw some of last year’s strongest players play in sync: Jaime Newell, Ghiselle Poblete, and Summer Pahl scored 15, 11, and six points respectively, with Poblete’s four steals displaying defensive abilities alongside her offensive prowess.

When asked about the Naismith Classic and the pre-season, the women’s basketball coach, Jessica Roque, said that she was “very pleased” with her team’s performance.

“We knew coming into the pre-season there would be a lot of areas for us to grow in as a new group,” she said. “We are still learning the potential of our team, but what we have been able to accomplish thus far is commendable.”

Rocque added that the Don McCrae Naismith Classic is always a great way for the team to sharpen up at home and prepare for the regular season.

“Looking ahead to Hoopfest, we will have the opportunity to play some of the top contenders in CanWest in the host city for this year’s National Championships. I know this travel opportunity will set us up for success when we kick off the OUA regular season on the road vs. York.”

The regular season starts in early November. On Nov. 3, both Warriors basketball teams will be playing against York — and looking to make a strong impression against their opponents to set the tone for the upcoming 2023-24 OUAC season.