Evan Thue-

Basketball season is upon us here at the University of WisconsinStout. The men’s and women’s basketball teams are starting up, and both teams are excited to get their seasons underway.

“We are excited to get going playing games and seeing what this team can develop into,” said Mark Thomas, women’s basketball team head coach, “Since the end of last March, our returning players have worked really hard physically on improving their ability to perform, and equally as hard on our mental and emotional focus.”

Thomas is confident in his returning players from last year, but also in his new players.

“The new players in our program have been invested since last spring as well; they really worked to get to know their teammates and make a commitment of excellence to each other. Since arriving to campus in early September, they have gone all out, giving a great effort together. I really like the work they have done and how unselfish we have been with each other,” Thomas said.

UWStout lost six games last season by two possessions or less, meaning they lost quite a few close games. Thomas recognized that this performance doesn’t live up to the team’s standards, and they’re putting a lot of hard work in to get ready for this season.

“We feel that by building our team bond, understanding our team vision, putting in the physical work to improve and by adding some much needed depth that we are in a better position to improve our record and work closer to achieving our goals and reaching our potential,” Thomas said.

The UWStout men’s basketball season is also underway, and senior guard Sam Ortmann (Buffalo, Minn.) is excited to get going. “I’m just excited to have another season to play with some of my best friends,” he said.

“We have a nice mix of returners and new freshman and transfers,” head men’s basketball coach Eddie Andrist said.

Going into this season, the men’s team will have five seniors and 10 freshmen. Ortmann feels a sense of leadership being one of the seniors and stated, “We will have to help the freshmen every step of the way and prepare them to be ready to play”.

Last year, the men’s team finished with a 13 and 13 record. Ortmann feels that the amount of returners coming back this season will bring a lot of experience, which can help improve from last year’s record.

“Do not count us out. We have [four] tough seniors back in: Sam Ortmann, Ike Elliott (Steven’s Point, Wis,), Brandyn Christman (Rice Lake,Wis.) and Adam Mackey (Ironwood, Mich.),” Andrist said.