A combination of inexperience playing with one another and untimely serious injuries to key players led to an underwhelming start for the men’s basketball team before they captured their first win Saturday.
With eight new additions to the roster, the Knights (1-5, 1-0) struggled to string together a win before they defeated Mercy College last week, 72-68, in their first East Coast Conference game of the season. The team fell to non-conference opponents Daemen, Felician, New Haven and Post University twice out of the gate, but the QC Knights refused to be discouraged, said junior guard George Holmes.
“We are trying to mix in some new guys,” said head coach Kirk Peopnakis. “It takes time. Also, we’ve already had a number of unexpected injuries.”
Injuries to starters Holmes and sophomore center Nees Nikovic already impacted and will continue to effect QC. Holmes, with a pulled left hamstring, is expected to return to the court on Dec. 8, but Nikovic, who tore his ACL, might miss the remainder of the very young season.
“It’s tough knowing you work so hard to try and bounce back from a tough season only to get hit with something else,” said Nikovic. “But I’m definitely going to use this to motivate me and get back on the court as soon as I can.”
Junior transfer guard Kevin Nascimento has been a driving force for the scrambling crew. With 48 points and 20 rebounds in his first five games, Nascimento believes that he has his teammates will find success in their near future.
“We’ve struggled putting together a solid 40 minutes,” said Nascimento. “We’ve had spurts of being a really good team and we need to find a way to collectively put together a whole new game.”
The Knights look forward to their next 20 games — especially their conference matches — with enthusiasm, hoping to augment their blemished start.
“We’ve been working hard everyday at practice,” said Nascimento. “I think our best basketball is right around the corner.”