KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KSNT) – MIAA basketball media day was held in Kansas City on Tuesday as coaches and players in the conference gave a sneak peek into what you can expect from their teams this season.
The Washburn Ichabods beat the national champion Northwest Missouri State Bearcats not once but twice last year.
“I think it gave our guys a ton of confidence going into the offseason. But also, I think, a mature enough group to know we still have to come back and earn it and work this year. It doesn’t really mean all that much when you start playing games in a new season,” head coach Brett Ballard said.
Since Washburn was the only team to beat Northwest last season, other teams might be out to get the ‘Bods.
“Definitely this year everyone is going to give us their best shot,” point guard Tyler Geiman said. “That’s what you want. That’s why you come to Washburn.
Their last game of the year was also against the Bearcats. That one, however, was a 41-point loss in the NCAA tournament.
“We didn’t end how we necessarily wanted to last year, so to get back in that position but do better this year that’s definitely where our mind is,” sharp-shooting guard Jalen Lewis said.
Lewis and Geiman will lead the Ichabods into battle this year.
“[Tyler] is obviously one of the best players in the country. So just to be able to have that guy by you every single game is definitely a big confidence booster,” Lewis said.
Geiman says Lewis doesn’t get enough hype.
“People can keep sleeping on him. That’s fine with me. You know he’s going to come out and hit big shots and make big plays,” Geiman said.
Lee Arena being back at full capacity this season is something that gets these guys fired up.
“We talk about that almost every day,” Lewis said. “Just getting that arena packed again… we play for the fans.”