Sports — 03 November 2017

Justine Chavez

@JUSTINECHAVEZ01

With only three players returning this season, the 2017-2018 LPC men’s basketball team is full of new, fresh faces. If coach James Giacomazzi is going to lead the Hawks to a third consecutive year of improvement, the newcomers will have to get acclimated quickly.

Last season, the Hawks ended with a 22-8 record and ranked 16 in the country. Veteran leadership in the locker room and building strong team chemistry are essential for this team if they plan on having any chance at playoffs.

Giacomazzi said “I’m very excited because we are such a versatile team that we can do so many things. We’re like a puzzle and it’s so fun to be able to put all the pieces together and create something beautiful.”

The pre-season began Nov. 2 with the tip-off classic. With the conference schedule only a few weeks away, there are some key elements that will determine the success of this young team.

One, the young players will have to learn Giacomazzi’s sys- tem while trying to jel as a team on and off the court. But what does that mean for returning for- ward Anand Hundal? He is a 6’10 forward who has proven to be a threat in the post with a keen ability to score. It means he’ll have to lead.

Last season he had a total of 80 rebounds and 28 blocks, making him one of their key defensive players. He’ll have to continue that and step up his offense. Last year, he averaged 138 points.

Chemistry might be the most important aspect of it all and it usually doesn’t happen overnight. Three of these 12 players know how to play together. But now they have to add nine new players to the fold. Last year’s 22-win team had several returning players and used that familiarity to its advantage. Giacomazzi is entering his third year as head coach at LPC. He led the Hawks to 19 wins his first year and 22 his second. He said he is trying to build a Division I mentality in his players. The LPC Hawks kick off their regular season opener at home on Wed. Nov. 22 at 5 p.m. against

Gavilan.

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