St. Norbert Times

Winter Sports Preview: Basketball

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ADDY BINK | SPORTS CORRESPONDENT

Gary Grzesk, Men’s Basketball

How do you feel playing in the brand new Jim Kress Gymnasium?

We’re extremely excited to be back home in the renovated Jim Kress Gym and playing in front of our fans. Last year, 3 of our 5 non-conference games were on the road. Our home games were played at the Kress Events Center which was actually more like a neutral court. This season all 7 non-conference games are at home and 11 of our first 12 games overall. ​It’s so convenient to be able to come to practice directly from class or the dorms.

The team won their fifth consecutive championship last season, becoming the first team since 1928. Are we on-track for a sixth straight championship win?

​Each year is different from the past. Even though we’ve won 5 consecutive conference championships, it doesn’t guarantee that we will win it this year. I feel good about the leadership from our seniors – D.J. DeValk ’18, Mitch Reinthaler ’18, and Brett O’Sullivan ’18. Even though we only have 2 starters back from last year’s team, we have a number of ​guys who played significant minutes and gained valuable experience last year. In time, I think our freshman group has a chance to be good. The culture, tradition, and expectations that have been created with some of our recent success helps to a certain extent.

This is your 12th season at SNC. What are you feelings about that?

​I’m proud that we’ve built a program that has had sustained success over a period of time. We’ve had a number of great players and assistant coaches that have made the program what it is today. At the same time, ​there are more things that I think we can accomplish. I feel blessed to be at St. Norbert where we have a great college campus, strong academic programs, and amazing students. There is a reason that coaches like Tim Coghlin, Dennis Detrie, JoAnn Krueger, Connie Tilley, and Tom Winske have been here so long. I’m looking forward to what the next 12 could bring.

What do you think of the team so far this season?

​When you replace 3 starters, there are going to be some big shoes to fill. We’re going to hang our hat on the defensive end and rebound the ball. Where we get our scoring from will be a work in progress. Our 2 main concepts on offense are taking good shots and taking care of the ball and limiting our turnovers. If we do those things, we have a chance to be competitive. We’re constantly evaluating our guys while trying to get better each and every day in practice. They’ve had a good attitude and have been working hard.​

Connie Tilley, Women’s Basketball

You are entering your 41st season here. How does that feel?

Feels no different than before. Always an exciting time of year and starting basketball after a 7 month vacation! Every year brings its own challenges and rewards.

Can we expect another Midwest Conference Title this season?

That will be difficult to do this year.  Is that what we are shooting for…. absolutely! We have a VERY young team and have lost some really good players over the past two years, so it may be difficult, but we will, as always, set our sights on a Championship.

What do you think of the team so far this season?

Young, inexperienced, but getting better every day.  I feel we are a little quicker than in the past.  If we continue to work hard and enjoy each other ever day, they have great potential.

How does it feel playing in the new Jim Kress Gymnasium?

The facility is great. The Gymnasium is just about the same, just newer and brighter. Love it and can’t wait for the games to start!

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