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Hoops teams prepare for 2015-2016 season

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The men and women’s basketball teams have high hopes for the upcoming 2015-2016 season.

The teams have set goals for their new season and hope to correct some of their mistakes from last year.

Men’s head coach Richard Reed hopes to improve in three areas this season.

First to improve on last year’s finish and their ranking in conference, second is to get in the top four of conference, and lastly if the Leopards make it to the top four, they hope to win the tournament for the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

“A lot of guys came back in great shape, better condition – bigger, faster and stronger,” Reed said.

Their off-season training has been rigorous and will hopefully help correct their mistakes from last year.

“I think the team is solid. We look forward to scoring the ball, rebounding the ball, and making basketball plays,” sophomore guard Anthony White said.

The men’s team went 9-16 overall and 5-11 in SCIAC last year, ending in 7th place.

“I’m excited to see what this team can do this year. Hopefully we get it done this year,” Reed said.

The women’s team is also gearing up for their new season. Women’s head coach Julie Shaw is looking forward to seeing her team grow in her third year of coaching the Leopards.

“We’ve been more concerned with establishing who we are as people and players,” Shaw said.

Newer players are slowly catching on to the dynamics of the team and the team is looking to become a cohesive unit.

A lot of the success of the new members stems from the success of the returners teaching and integrating them so well into the program.

“We have so many new players and we need to all learn how to work together and be on the same page,” junior guard Faye Osburn said. “But when it comes to conference, we’ll be ready to fight.”

The women hope to build a new identity in conference and be known as a threat to the other teams in their conference.

“It call comes back to character,” Shaw said. “Last year, we learned a lot and that has spurred us to learn what we want and what it actually takes to get what we want.”

The women were 10-15 overall and 7-9 in SCIAC, landing them in sixth place.

The women’s team wants to be known as the hardest working team that does not give up.

“We want to be more defensive-minded, we want to start strong against every team,” senior guard Shannon Irwin said.

The women’s team plays Bethesda at East Los Angeles College Nov. 22 at 2 p.m.

The men’s team plays Willamette at 7 p.m. Nov. 21 at the Athletic Pavilion.

—Alexandra de Leon

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