PRESQUE ISLE, Me (WAGM) - The UMPI men's basketball team start the regular season on Friday with a game against Pine Manor. The Owls have a new coach in Dan Kane and he had to get work right away to put a team together this year.
"When I started in June we only had four players on the roster. I was really scrambling in the summer trying to find new players. Luckily through my contacts I was able to get in some good young players," Kane said.
This is the first time Kane has been a head coach at the college level.
"Well it's fun. You have the final say on how the team does things. If you see a play you want to use you don't have to ask anyone, you just use it. It's been a lot of fun and I think the guys have just been great," Kane added.
"Coach Kane is always in the office. I've seen him in there at 10:00 at night and 1:00 in the morning. He's always in the office and always willing to talk. I don't know how many time I have been in his office talking. I'm able to go in there and just talk for an hour or two," senior Anthony Chacho explained.
The team will have a different style of play this year and take advantage of the skills the new players bring to the table along with the returners.
"This year I think we really have some shooting, some speed and athleticism. We'd like to get up and down the court a little bit more. Defensively we play a lot of pack line defense. Trying to make sure we get the ball out of the paint," Kane said.
"Personally I like the different style of play. I played it in high school, so I guess it's bringing back memories you could say," Chacho added.
In his junior season Maurice Harris averaged 11 points and over 6 rebounds a game. He garnered AD3I third team honors and is looking to build off his successes.
"Just looking obviously to improve my game and show more aspects of it. To get my teammates involved as well. I can't do anything without them. If they get me involved and help me out that would be good," Harris said.
The team is determined to get back to postseason play and there are three players left from the team that made nationals in 2015.
"We want to go back to the USCAA nationals. We went in 2015, our sophomore year for me Chacho and Kev. We know we can go back and what it takes to go," Harris said.