After 2 consecutive losing seasons, the Galileo boys varsity basketball team was moved down to the 2nd or lower “Neff” division in the AAA (Academic Athletic Association) this season. With this change, all of the players and coaches have high expectations for the regular season as they expect to go undefeated & make the playoffs for the first time in 3 years.
Coach Jeremy Lee believes that playing in the “Neff” division is both good & bad for the team. He says, “It’s always good to be able to get wins, which builds confidence in the players, but a lack of competition can lead to bad habits, even though we’re winning.”
The Lions expectations are also high because of the experience on the team. The Lions have 5 seniors who have 4 years of high school experience with this year being their 2nd at the varsity level. This includes the 3 captain’s (F) Joshua L, (G) Kobe L, & (F) Matthew N, as well as (G) Francis G and (G) Rory J.
Unfortunately the team’s experience did not help during the team’s preseason in November & December where their record was 3 wins compared to 8 losses. “During the preseason we weren’t playing as a team because a lot of guys were trying to do their own thing,” Josh explained. However the team believes that if they focus and pick up their intensity on the court, they can still come together as a team.
The team has put aside the preseason though and is focused on their goal of making the playoffs this season. They believe it won’t be as difficult in year’s past since they are playing in the Neff division.
However Coach Lee wants the players to not just think about making the playoffs. He says, “My expectations are to go to the playoffs, and I think the players should expect the same, but the goal should be about competing once we get to the playoffs, not just being satisfied about making it.”
Beyond the playoffs though, the captains all have similar goals they have set for themselves. Kobe sums these goals saying, “At the end of the season I hope to get better as a player and grow as a person and learn from what I’ve been taught.”