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UC Clermont men’s basketball team posts up positive vibes

Season starts with standing-room only home crowd

2018 UC Clermont men's basketball team

The 2018 UC Clermont men's basketball team.

As the UC Clermont College men’s basketball team begins its 2018-19 season, the Cougars are hoping to build on the spark of last year’s success, when the program had its first winning season in five years.

While most of this year’s roster consists of firest-year students, the list also includes a few returning starters, such as junior Jamie Carson (Miami Valley Christian Academy) and sophomore Ben Sommer (Anderson High School). “Both can score and are good leaders on and off the court,” said Head Coach Steve Ellis.

The main challenge for the Cougars, said Ellis, will be maintaining consistency on both defense and offense, especially when the team faces two opponents ranked in the top five nationally after the holidays — Warren Wilson College on Jan. 5, and Villa Maria on Feb. 2.

“The conference is talented. Every game is a challenge,” Ellis said. “But it’s not about what the other teams do, it’s what we do. We need to be consistent on both ends of the floor to put ourselves in a position to win games.”

Ellis said that the bond among players — and the positive spirit surrounding the team — has already been apparent to the capacity crowds at the team’s early home games. The Cougars defeated Southern State Nov. 20.

“They are a close group, and they pull for each other in practices and games. No egos on the team,” Ellis said. “The reason for that is that everyone gives great effort. Even other coaches and referees comment on their hustle. They are fun to watch, and we hope to continue the great crowd attendance we’ve had so far, because it’s exciting to play in that type of atmosphere.”

The Cougars play all home games in the Student Activities Center on the UC Clermont campus, 4200 Clermont College Drive, Batavia, Ohio. Visit https://ucclermont.edu/athletics/MensBasketball/Schedule.html for the full season schedule.