Trojans open season at home

Published 11:14 pm Friday, November 13, 2009

The Troy Trojans will officially kick off the 2009-10 basketball season with a pair of home games against Piedmont on Saturday and against William Carey Monday.”

Head coach Don Maestri said the main thing he wants from the Trojans is improvement from last Monday’s exhibition game against West Alabama. “Obviously, we’re going to be more talented than Piedmont,” Maestri said. “The thing we’re trying to do Saturday is to play better basketball than we did against West Alabama. I didn’t think we played very well, so we need to come out and play a good game of basketball.”

One thing that Maestri hopes will change against Piedmont is the performance of the newcomers to Troy’s team.

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“I think our new guys were overanxious,” Maestri said. “They tried to rush things a little too much. Defensively, they’re not comfortable yet with their assignments. They need to get better at understanding those.”

While the game against Piedmont Saturday will be Troy’s first official game, it is the game against William Carey Monday that has Maestri worried.

“The bigger challenge will be Monday against William Carey,” Maestri said. “They’ve got Division I transfers. They’re a Division I team even though they’re considered Division II because they have seven Division I players playing for them. They’ll be a biog challenge for us Monday night in terms of talent.”

One question mark heading into the first two games is the status of senior all-conference selection Richard Delk. Delk sustained an ankle injury during the game against West Alabama Monday, limiting him to just seven minutes of playing time.

“He’s going to try to play Saturday, but we’ve definitely got to have him Monday,” Maestri said. “We’re really hoping to have him back at full speed no later than Monday.”

Delk’s injury is big blow to a Troy team that only plans to play nine players this season.

“With this team we have this year, we can’t afford any injuries,” Maestri said. “We’ve got to have all of our top guys playing at top speed.” One problem with not having Delk is the added pressure it puts upon the rest of the team, especially the aforementioned newcomers. “Our new guys felt like all the pressure went onto them when Delk went out, and they didn’t do a real good job of handling that pressure,” Maestri said. “But, I’m glad we faced that pressure because pressure will help you to grow as a team.”

The Trojans open the 2009-10 season in Trojan Arena Saturday at 1 p.m. against Piedmont before taking on William Carey Monday at 7 p.m.