For the first time since last February, the Wabash men’s basketball team will take the floor on Saturday afternoon.
The Little Giants will host rival DePauw at Chadwick Court in a game limited to Wabash personnel only.
“It’s been a long year in all regards,” Wabash coach Kyle Brumett said. “Our guys are excited to be together, whether it is practice or the opportunity to play the games is special.”
Brumett says the Little Giants roster will be limited to 14 players for the abbreviated 2021 season. Jack Davidson, who would have been a senior, is taking part in an off-campus internship and will return next season. Brumett doesn’t expect a drop in leadership though, with senior Connor Rotterman and juniors Tyler Watson and Kellen Schreiber all returning.
“We have really good leadership,” Brumett said. “The expectations that have been so high these past few years I think has come with these guys that have chosen to play here and try to put Wabash in a place to compete at the top of our league, and really worked to try and build a championship culture.”
Wabash has won at least 17 games the last two seasons, and hopes to play as many as 12 games over the next six weeks, but understands they will have to remain flexible.
“I’ve been really proud with what we’ve done. Every week, without fail, there’s another wrinkle or hurdle to almost rethink how you do things. And that’s not going to stop anytime soon,” Brumett said, while citing they will continue to do everything they can to give athletes a chance to play, while keeping their health and safety as a top priority.
“We are really looking forward to trying to string as many as these games together as we can. One thing that’s hard for our team, everyone’s team and really all walks of life is that from day-to-day you have disruptions and you have make adjustments and mentally be prepared for it being different than what you are used to.”
Brumett says he has continued to see growth from his 14 players, that includes Southmont’s Cam Chadd along with seven freshmen, despite the long lay-off and all the uncertainty they’ve faced. And the Little Giants are looking forward to returning to the court.
“We’ve really tried to be intentional on thinking about giving them their basketball fix,” he said. “Trying to help them become better with the adversity we are dealing with. And really trying to see and listen for their health and mental health. It’s been so refreshing for all of us, me included, to be back together. They’re like little kids when they are able to just turn everything else off and play.
“We have a thing that we say often. ‘basketball is not the most important thing in the world,’ but we want to treat it that way when we are doing it.”