After losing by two points in last year’s National Championship, which ended the men’s basketball’s magical run, the Vikings are now ranked 1st in the preseason poll. Now, they look to start off their season right with their home opener against Calvin in the Illinois/Michigan Classic November 17. They have already had one game against Heidelberg, which they won 73-64.
When talking to Coach Giovanine about last year’s success being a motivation for this upcoming season, Giovanine got right to the point.
“Coming so close to winning a National Championship last season gave our guys a real taste of what it feels like to play in the big moment. It gives us extreme motivation to get back to the Final Four, as it is a tremendous opportunity to have the chance to play in an environment like that,” Giovanine said.
The Vikings return most of their key players from last season, and they look to use that to their advantage.
“Its great to have a veteran team when they have the right attitude. So far, this group of guys have stayed humble and have been eager to get better, which makes it more fun and easier to coach,” Giovanine said.
Chrishawn Orange, after being named to D3hoops.com’s “2017-2018 preseason All-America second team”, looks to make another run at the national title.
“Energy is the biggest thing I bring everyday to practice to help my team. We are focused on getting better each day and just want to embrace the journey,” Orange said. “With having so many players returning from last year, it really allows us to develop and maintain good team chemistry.”
When talking to Coach Giovanine about what they have to do have success against Calvin, Giovanine gives his opponent a lot of credit.
“Calvin was a NCAA team last year binging back 4 out of their 5 starters from last season. To be able to have success on Friday, we will have to control the tempo and will also have to maintain their strong physical guys,” Giovanine said.
Coach Giovanine hoped to see a large crowd this weekend, as he believes Augustana has the best home court advantage in the country. This weekend worked out for the Giovanine and the Vikings because they won against Calvin 80-69. After that they quickly turned around to beat Alma 65-53. Now, they look to head to Champaign on Wednesday, November 22.