It was media day for UW-Milwaukee’s basketball teams, as both the men’s and women’s teams have very different hopes and expectations going into the 2017-2018 season.
The women’s team is coming off of one of their most exciting seasons ever after finishing with a 22-12 record under Coach Kyle Rechlicz, who is entering her sixth season at UW-Milwaukee. They have high hopes for this season as a plethora of experienced players are returning, including Steph Kostowicz and Jenny Lindner. The pair have both reached the 1,000 point mark in their careers.
“This is a really important season for us,” said Rechlicz. We’ve been grooming a group of seniors to make this year the year. It’s going to be very tough to decide which five we are starting and which five are coming off the bench. We are very deep this year, which is the first time we can say that.”
Going on to the men’s team, the program has been suffering from ongoing turmoil after first year coach LaVall Jordan accepted the head coaching position at Butler. Jordan was the program’s hire after Rob Jeter was fired after 11 seasons. That makes Pat Baldwin the program’s third head coach in three years. Despite that and going 11-24 last season, the program is optimistic, as last season ended on a higher note after making a miracle run to the Horizon League Tournament Finals as the No. 10 seed.
“Untimely, our goal at the end of day is to still be playing in March beyond our conference tournament,” said Baldwin. “The Horizon League is very competitive league with great coaches and players. Every single night is a challenge for us but I feel like we have a good group of veteran guys that have returned for us, have seen the league, that understand college basketball and can put us in position to be in those games and be competitive.”
Redshirt junior guard and last year’s leading scorer Brock Stull had probably the memorable quote of the press conference when asked if how the team will compete against the big name schools on their schedule like Iowa St. and Wisconsin.
“I think all of our guys are pretty confident, whoever we play,” said Stull. “Give us the (Los Angeles) Lakers, give us anyone and we’ll try our hardest and go from there.”
The men’s team will play its first official game against UW-La Crosse at Panther Arena on Friday, November 10 at 7 pm. That game will also be on ESPN3. The women’s team will play its first official game in the preseason WNIT Tournament against Drake, also on November 10 at 7 pm. That game will also be on ESPN3.