This week, I had the pleasure of chatting with legendary BSU basketball coach, Joe Farroba, about his plans to prepare for an unprecdented season. Last season ended when the bears lost to Salem State in the late February MASCAC Tournament Quarterfinal.
Despite finishing with a 10-15 record, the team was 7-5 in conference play although showing how unreflective their final record was of how solid a team they had.
Coach Farroba detailed how open the lineup and team spots will be with multiple seniors having graduated last spring. In terms of filling those spots, Coach has struggled with recruiting as many AAU teams and summer leagues were cancelled due to the pandemic.
With no summer camps to run or tournaments to attend, Farroba got an unexpected taste of what retirement might look like although he is determined to see success with this season. They were able to hold zoom meetings three to four times over the summer to discuss the unknowns that have led to this fall.
When they met in mid-September, the players got their training regimen to prep for the winter. Since the Kelly Gym equipment was moved across campus to the Tinsley center, the guys have been able to run circuits in three separate groups. From running drills to outdoor strength and conditioning, the decision to move the equipment outside has allowed for safer workout conditions for all BSU teams.
Coach has heard from the MASCAC about a plan to start league play later this winter. Nothing is set in stone but when they arrive to the first week of workouts, the team plans to continue to distance in their respective groups but will finally have gym access three days per week allowing them a chance to shape up before game time.
After returning from winter break, the team will hopefully resume with a fourteen-game league schedule starting January 20th. The league hopes to even get in a playoff tournament with the benefit of not having to travel out of state to play conference games.
The NCAA wants all athletes to be tested at least three times per week after following the BSU protocol for both on and off campus students.
While we were breaking down what a game could look like, it was difficult to visualize but it’s the reality of the circumstance we have been given. Masks on the sidelines for all coaches and players.
The good news is our athletes are finally able to workout as a team, so I have gained some hope on watching our Bears compete this season. I respect ALL athletes for continuing to work out and turn these unfortunate circumstances into time to train hard. The extra work will prove itself when it comes time to put it all out there on the court.
A special thanks to Joe Farroba for sharing his valuable time. I can’t wait to catch up and hear about the team again. Go Bears!