By Julian Bell, Sports Writer
With the first game of the season just around the corner, Head Coach Greg Herenda and his FDU Knights have their sights set on Seton Hall. Herenda, who was an assistant basketball coach at Seton Hall in years past, had to prepare his team to play against Merrimack College in their preseason exhibition on Nov. 3.
Interestingly, Coach Herenda also holds close ties with Merrimack, which is his alma mater. Despite his history with Merrimack College, Herenda prepared his team to dominate the game, and that is exactly what they did. Though the Knights were off to a slow start and Merrimack put together some impressive scoring drives, FDU found their second wind by the second half of the game.
The Men’s Basketball team entered their preseason game against Merrimack with some formidable obstacles. With two injured players, the Knights had an impressive performance against a perfectly healthy opponent. After the fans, officials, and players rose for the National Anthem, the action was immediately underway in the Stratis Arena. By the opening bell, the Knights were ready to put on an explosive performance in their 77-62 victory over Merrimack College.
FDU won the opening tip off and immediately gained possession. The Knights were still trying to find their rhythm during the first half, as they had some difficulty against Merrimack’s aggressive offense and formidable defense. It was hard for the Knights to secure rebounds and drive the ball toward the basket. By the end of the first half the Knights were down, but Coach Herenda and a few of his key players had other plans.
FDU sophomore forward Mike Holloway was one of the main contributors in the Knights victory, with 13 rebounds and 16 points
Holloway was not the only Knights player who played aggressively during the second half. Senior forward Tyrone O’Garro scored 14 points and came up with 12 rebounds. Overall, the Knights implemented more aggressive defensive tactics during the second half. Almost 46 percent of the Knights’ shots translated into points.
The Knights put on an impressive performance without one of their key players, Earl Potts Jr. After sustaining an injury earlier this year, FDU continues to prepare him for the upcoming season. However, one question remains: Will Earl Potts Jr. be able to play in the season opener against Seton Hall? How long will his injury prevail?
Coach Herenda’s team seems ready for their next challenge, the season opener against Seton Hall in South Orange, N.J. The action takes place on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7:00 p.m.