BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Daemen Wildcats are off to another fiery start. Sitting pretty at 10-1 on the season, the Wildcats haven’t lost a game since November 1st, their regular season opener.
“I think we’re feeling really well, it’s been a lot of tough games, a lot of close games at the beginning of the season, it’s tough to come out and win those games but we’ve done a good job and now we’re just going to see what we do this weekend,” center Andrew Sischo said.
“It’s been a good start to the season, but we have to remember it’s just the start,” head coach Mike MacDonald said. “We want to make sure we continue to get better and continue to improve.”
“I think we’ve seen a lot of experience this year so far, even though we lost a lot of pieces from last year we have four main returners this year and the addition of Joey Wallace who’s also a redshirt senior has brought a lot of experience from other colleges to us,” guard Jay Sarkis said. “We’re just trying to help out the new guys and try and make a stepping stone for the rest of Daemen College and our basketball team.”
Like Jay said, this year’s Daemen team looks different from last season’s 24-6 team that advanced to the NCAA D-II Tournament for the first time in school history. After graduating five fantastic seniors, the Wildcats have had to implement some of the younger players in to fill those holes, and there wasn’t much time to deal with a learning curve.
“I’ve said all along, we’ve had four guys who really knew what we were doing. Breon Harris, Jay Sarkis, Jeff Redband, and Andrew Sischo. The other guys I’ve had to kind of catch up to speed, understand their roles, and that’s been a little bit of learning on the fly,” Coach MacDonald said.
“I think we’re starting to get that. I still think we have a couple levels that we can get to that we can get better at, and knowing that going forward it gives me a lot of hope for January and February.”
“I think last year, we lost a lot of good guys, Deion Hamilton, Darius Garvin, Quinn Lee Yaw, but we’ve got a lot of new guys this year that are picking up those roles and they’re trying to do a lot of great things, and it’s been very helpful to help them fill their spots,” Sischo said.
Even with a relatively young team, the Wildcats are on a 10 game winning streak, and are currently ranked 8th in the country in Division II basketball. Daemen is on the road for their second ECC game of the season when they take on Mercy College on Friday at 7 pm.