Nowhere to go but up
Cape Breton Capers men’s basketball team ‘very new’ this season
The Cape Breton Capers men’s basketball team has had a rough couple of seasons in the Atlantic University Sport.
The Cape Breton squad has only won two games in the past two years, but Capers head coach Matt Skinn isn’t looking at those numbers this season.
This year’s Capers team will feature many new faces with only three players returning from the 2017-18 season, including guard Osman Omar.
“We’re very new, we’re learning off each other and the team is learning how to play with each other and what it takes to be a competitive and potentially a championship-calibre team,” said Skinn, who was hired by the Capers in April when the club parted ways with former head coach David Petroziello.
“We have to do the right things day in and day out and they are the basics that we’re trying to get to right now — we have a great group of guys who are eager to learn.”
In 2016-17, the Capers finished last in the eight-team AUS standings with an 0-20 record, while last season, Cape Breton also ended the year in last place with a 2-18 record.
“I think the wins and losses always matter because when you take the floor you want to win,” said Skinn, who had previously coached the Capers for four seasons, before leaving two years ago to accept an assistant coaching job in Western Canada.
“We’re trying to not make results the end focus and that goes down to every individual player, not just games as well, so we’re just trying to improve on a day-today basis and improve in all aspects of the game.”
This year’s Capers squad will have three Cape Breton players in its lineup including Sydney Academy graduates Jason Callaghan and Liam MacdonaldStapleton as well as Noah Dunn of Port Hood.
“Jason is a freshman for us and I think he’s going to carve himself a really great role for our team this year and he’s going
to be a great player for our program now and moving forward,” said Skinn.
“It’s great to see people from Cape Breton having success in basketball and moving on to this level and being part of our program.”
Cape Breton opened the season last weekend with a pair of losses to the Dalhousie Tigers. The team was defeated 85-65 on Saturday, and 89-76 on Sunday.
The Capers will return to the hardwood today when they host the St. Francis Xavier X-Men at 8 p.m. at Sullivan Field House in Sydney.