New faces leading UNCW Men’s Basketball towards fresh start in 2020

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)–As we head into October that means college basketball is just over a month away. Under first year head coach Takayo Siddle, the UNCW Men’s Basketball is looking for a bounce back year.

Siddle takes over a Seahawk program that went 11-22 a year ago before falling in the CAA tournament. The returning UNCW players say while it was a rough ride a year ago this coaching staff is providing a spark to get them back to where they want to be.

“It was very difficult you know losing a lot of games, I think that affected the mental state of many guys on the team,”says UNCW senior Mike Okauru. “I think with this new staff and
everything that’s going on it gives us fresh air to breathe and you know go on and start winning more games.”

There expectations are still out there for the UNCW program to return to the NCAA tournament conversation. The Seahawks return four out of their five leading scorers from a a year ago. Head coach Takayo Siddle says while the tournament will always be the ultimate goal they are going to take things one day at a time.

“What I’m focused on is getting our guys better today and that’s how we’re going to approach this season,”Siddle says. “We’re going to try to do everyday well. I feel
good about it if we do that well enough then we’ll be exactly where we need to be at the end of the season.”

UNCW junior Brian Tolefree says they think the experience they gained last year as a team has them set up to surprise some people this season.

“I mean I think that’s going to be a game changer for us this season,”said Tolefree. “It was my first year playing division one basketball and for Mike this was his first year at UNCW. So, we were all really just adjusting and we built a bond just going through
a lot of stuff that ultimately brought us closer.”

UNCW Athletics says they hope to have a schedule finalized for the 2020-2021 season in the coming weeks. After being pushed back two weeks, this years college basketball season will get underway on November 25th.

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