Niagara Gazette


November 9, 2013

New-look Niagara aims to replicate last season's success

New-look Niagara aims to replicate last season's success despite loss of key players and coach


Niagara Gazette — While it’s easy to assume size is an issue with mid-major teams that like to play fast, that isn’t the case with this year’s Purple Eagles, said Casey. He said he plans on using four or five forwards, including Ware, Snowden, Thomas and freshmen Aaron Bodie and Dominique Reid.

Guards coming off the bench include McCall, Harris and freshmen Wesley Myers, Alex Dubovitskiy and David Varoli. Guards Thomas Fleming, Emile Blackman and Karonn Davis will sit out the season as redshirts.

A team with nine freshmen may be graded on a curve, but Casey and his veterans have been impressed with the young talent early on, particularly after the exhibition games. Last season set the bar for the Purple Eagles, and despite the new faces, the players are convinced the team can be just as successful.

“I saw some fight and energy and I saw a lot of guys who want to play, want to compete and want to be good,” Jordan said. “Everybody’s showing little signs here and there. ... (Getting back to that level) is definitely expected, but as we continue to come in here and work hard day in and day out, there’s no telling what this team can do. This league is a very surprising league, anybody can beat anybody day in and day out.”

“I can tell we’re hungry,” added Mason. “People will doubt us, but in the exhibitions, I could tell that when things don’t go as well, we’ll stick together and fight through just like we did last year. I can see similarities.”

Follow Niagara Gazette sports reporter Mike Meiler on Twitter @mikemeiler for updates on your local teams.

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