Patience key for ‘Cats fans

Story by Kyle Davis

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Thursday marks the beginning of basketball season, and with the new season comes high expectations at Baker University.

Since Brett Ballard’s introduction as the head coach of Baker men’s basketball team, excitement has continued to build as people think about what this team is capable of with Ballard at the helm.

What comes with hype is expectation.

Ballard played and has worked for the Kansas Jayhawks, who know a thing or two about winning. Any doubters only need to look at Ballard’s national championship ring. 

I am just as excited to see Ballard at Baker as anyone else on campus.

Regardless of if you are a KU fan or not, who wouldn’t want a coach who has learned the game from Roy Williams and Bill Self?

As excited as I am, one word needs to be kept in the minds of Baker fans. Patience.

Let us not forget Ballard has yet to coach a game, and while he has brought in two new players, the Wildcats lost Malcolm Greer, who tied for the team lead in points last year along with Andre Strozier, at 13 points per game.

Last season, Baker tied for last place in the HAAC, at 3-17, and went 10-20 overall, and are picked to finish 10th in the conference this season.

No matter who the coach is, it is difficult to make that drastic of a turnaround in one season, especially with only bringing in two recruits.

That being said, Ballard has the basketball knowledge and coaching ability to turn this Baker team into a HAAC Championship contender, it just may take a couple of years.

The excitement that has surrounded this team for the past six months is exactly what Baker needs, and is one of the reasons Ballard was brought in to coach this team.

However, while the excitement needs to continue throughout the season, fans should not react too soon if the team loses a few games early.

I expect BU to rise in the HAAC standings, but it is not fair to expect a conference championship this season.

I believe Ballard can take Baker to the top of the HAAC, but it may not be a one-year process. Baker fans will be thrilled if, and when, this happens, but until then, stand by Ballard and give him the chance to succeed.

Patience from fans can be hard to come by in the sporting world, but patience could pay off for the Baker basketball team.