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Men’s basketball tries to regain momentum going into playoffs

Frustration.

That is the word used by junior Joe Manzo and first-year Chris Myers when reflecting on the 2006-07 Eastern men’s basketball season.

Taking care of the basketball is something that coach Matt Nadelhoffer has been stressing a great deal to his team.

“We have not met my expectations, but the season is definitely not over,” he said.

Nadelhoffer added an observation about emotional toughness when it comes to the performance of his players: “They have the skill; it’s just more mental right now then physical.”

At this time last year, going to an Eastern basketball game was something that had to be planned; leaving early to go and get a good seat was a must.

Now, however, empty seats are easy to find whether the game has started or not.

Nadelhoffer said student involvement and crowd support really makes a difference to his players while they are on the court.

“The season has been up and down,” Myers said.

Senior captain Lenny DiMaria gave some assurance.

“We have what it takes to make it to the championship,” he said.

With a 9-6 conference record, the Eagles are pulling their game together and pressing hard towards making the PAC playoffs. The team has come a long way to make it this far.

“Injuries of players in the beginning of the season really slowed us down earlier,” DiMaria said, “but now we’re ready to go and play every game as if it was our last.”

With six games left until the PAC playoffs begin, the pressure is on.

“We are getting to the end with tough games left,” Myers said. “We have to play at high levels, but I am confident that we will; we are peaking as a team at the right time.”

Even with the team’s disappointment in their performance at the beginning, they feel as a whole that they have now hit a turning point.

Nadelhoffer identified the major steps to his team’s success as “limiting turnovers and continuing to trust one another to be there when the ball gets passed. Once we have complete trust and belief in one another, then the wins and losses will take care of themselves.”

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