By Jett Johnson
Assistant Sports Editor
Trevecca’s men’s basketball opened their season on Nov. 5 with a win in an exhibition contest versus Covenant.
The men’s team beat Covenant 55-52 over homecoming weekend.
Omar Mance, head coach of men’s basketball, said he is pleased with how preseason training is going.
“Training has been great. Guys have been working really hard, and we have a lot of newcomers with eight freshmen and three transfers. We have a lot of excitement and a lot of energy. It’s been a cool, fun and exciting environment,” said Mance.
One of those transfers is senior Peter Lambesis. Lambesis is a transfer from Illinois Wesleyan, where he averaged 10.0 PPG and recorded a career high 43 steals last season.
“Training has been great. We have a ton of new guys, and we’ve taken a ton of huge strides. As a whole we mesh well, and it’s great to see those relationships form early on,” said Lambesis.
With the outlook being positive, there are still areas Mance and the team are looking forward to improving on.
“It’s a new year, a new day. There’s a lot of areas that we didn’t do well last year; one of those is scoring. I really want us to be a scoring team, so we’re gonna play a lot more up tempo than the fans are used to seeing which is great,” said Mance.
A big change for the team this year is their overall team depth. The Trojans roster will feature 16 players. Mance thinks this is huge for the teams’ success this year.
“I think our biggest strength is numbers. The Golden State warriors had that tagline for so many years because they had so many good players. For us that’s what we are, and this year we have our deepest team since I’ve been head coach,” said Mance.
Junior center Caleb Terry sees great positives in the teams’ depth as well.
“We have a ton of new players this year so that will help out quite a bit. Anytime we get into foul trouble or need a sub, we’ll have some really good guys to come in and help us out,” said Terry.
Terry is looking forward to the changes on the court that will be made this year.
“It’s been a lot different this year since we have so many new players. We have a new offense and defense so it will be a completely different year, and I’m really excited for it,” said Terry.
Lambesis and Terry are both in leadership roles on the team as upperclassmen. Mance thinks this is a key factor in the teams’ success this year.
“Caleb Terry is one of the best strength and conditioning leaders. He’s 6 feet 11 inches and 255 pounds, so he’s been a great example in the weight room. Pete Lambesis is a transfer and has won a championship at his previous school. He’s been a great leader talking on the court, and encouraging the freshman,” said Mance.
There is a clear long-term goal for the team this year according to Mance.
“The long-term goal is to be the best team at the end of the season. We want to make the conference tournament and compete for a championship. I told our team that there’s no championship banner in this gym, so our goal is to one day win a championship,” said Mance.
Trevecca’s women’s basketball team opened their season on Nov. 5 in an exhibition contest against Fisk University.
The women’s team defeated Fisk 68-57 during their homecoming game.
The exhibition game featured the debut of new head coach Karen Booker.
“So far it’s been like a sprint here. Just trying to get my staff hired, getting to know the team, and working on recruiting. I’ve enjoyed the smaller atmosphere as well,” said Booker.
A player that has caught the attention of the first-year head coach is senior guard Bayleigh Carmichel. Carmichel averaged 10.0 PPG last season and collected 4.0 RBG.
“It’s been really cool to learn some of [Booker’s] background story and some of the stuff she’s done in her past,” said Carmichel.
Although games have yet to start, the Trojans have begun preparation for the upcoming season.
“Training has been good. We’ve stayed healthy through it which hasn’t happened prior years, so that’s always exciting. We’re just trying to put all of the pieces together,” said Carmichel.
While preseason training has been going well, there are always improvements that can be made to the team.
“We’re learning how to play cohesively and take the right shots so that we can win more games this year,” said Carmichel.
Booker hopes to instill a tough, gritty mentality to the women’s program.
“You can’t beat hard work. I want to motivate the players and help them to work at a level to where the team can be successful. We need to be in good condition and disciplined to even be in the game since this conference is so tough,” said Booker.
Carmichel has seen these improvements through preseason training.
“We’ve looked like we’re moving a lot better this year. We’re also shooting a lot better, which is something we’ve struggled with in the past. We’re a very cohesive team that enjoys being around each other,” said Booker.
Booker finds leadership from upperclassmen the key to improving this season. The Trojans roster will feature eight upperclassmen.
Junior Keeley Carter returns as the leading scorer from the 2021-2022 season.
Carter averaged 17.7 PPG last year and is the single-season leader in points (424), average (17.7), made field goals (149) and made free throws (111).
“We have some very good leaders on the team. Bayleigh Carmichel being one of those leaders. They can try and help get a feel for what the teams’ needs are. If I need to relay a message, they do a great job of keeping me connected with the pulse of the team,” said Booker.
Carmichel, being one of those players, also believes in the leadership this team has.
“We have two seniors and two juniors that have been here their whole career, which is something we haven’t had in the past,” said Carmichel.
There are laid out long-term goals for the team this year.
“One thing we’ve talked about is being in the top half of the conference. Hopefully we’ll see that happen this year, but that could take some time based on where the team has been. We definitely want to do better than last year,” said Booker.