It is officially September. November is only two months away. That means college basketball action will be in full effect.
What does that mean for fans and members of Spartan Nation? It means the world will see the new and improved UNCG men’s basketball team.
The Carolinian spoke with one of the players, Kyrin Galloway, junior forward for the UNCG men’s basketball team. He reflected on many aspects, one of which was the team’s international experience during the summer.
Kyrin, along with forward James Dickey and graduate manager Tom Tankelewicz, spent some time in Europe with Team USA East Coast over the summer. They were coached by legendary NBA and NCAA coach Larry Brown. Kyrin labeled this as a “rewarding experience.”
He says he has learned a few things that could help improve his game.
“Learning how to be aggressive and knowing when to take the right shots,” Galloway said. Essentially, what Kyrin grasped from Coach Brown was decision-making, knowing how to react in situations that occur during a game of basketball.
In addition to that, Kyrin worked on his shooting over the summer.
He has been in the gym putting up shots and finding ways to become a better shooter than he was last season. Kyrin adds that Head Coach Wes Miller has also been pushing him to step up his shooting game, especially since sharpshooters Marvin Smith and Jordy Kuiper have graduated.
The departure of impactful players like Smith and Kuiper will definitely have an effect on the team, but Kyrin and the UNCG men’s basketball team remain confident in their abilities.
Kyrin addressed the situation, saying, “They were some of the best communicators on the team and those guys were definitely a large part of our team.”
Despite the departures, he believes they are still in good hands because guys like Demetrius Troy and Francis Alonso are working hard to position themselves as leaders for the team.
The team has made several changes for the better. UNCG welcomed new players to the team like center Mohammed Abdulsalam and forward Angelo Allegri; they will bring more depth and shooting to the team.
Kyrin spoke on their abilities and what they mean for the team. “Angelo is a really gifted scorer as a 6’6 wingman,” Kyrin said. “He’s out there contributing athletically…Freshmen seem to be getting better each year.”
“Mohammad is also one that can get to the basket”, Kyrin added. “When Lloyd [Burgess] would get into foul trouble, we didn’t have another big guy that could bang with other seven footers, but we have that in Mo.”
The future is brighter than ever for the Spartans.
“Honestly, I feel like we can take steps from where we were last year and become a better team than we were.”’
Last season, UNCG was eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by Gonzaga. It was a devastating loss, but the guys are positive they will be back better than ever.
Kyrin stresses the fact that he and teammates have worked on their strengths and weakness during the summer.
He says his teammates Demetrius Troy, Kylia Sykes, Malik Massey, Francis Alonso and others have been working on their defensive strategies and play-making skills.
“All summer we have been working hard, way harder than we have in the past.”
He believes they have a pretty good shot at making the tournament, although ETSU and Wofford are teams to look out for in the Southern conference.
Can they make it farther than last year? It is certainly possible because not only have there been great additions to the roster, but also to the coaching staff. Coach Andre Gray has joined the UNCG Men’s basketball team as an active assistant coach.
In the words of Kyrin, “Coach Gray is a person that the guys can go and talk to on the team.” He adds that Coach Gray is a cool guy. “A real player’s coach… someone you could talk about anything with.”
Overall, Coach Miller and the guys have the necessary tools needed to be able to compete at a high level.
Spartan Nation has something to look forward to this upcoming season.