Basketballs are beginning to bounce everywhere around the nation as the new season begins. And that is no exception for St. Catharine College where the 2011-2012 roundball campaign begins in earnest this weekend with three home games.
The Patriot women start things off Friday with a 7:30 tip-off against Asbury University. On Saturday the Patriot men open the season with a 4:00 game against Mid-Continent University. That game is followed by the women’s game against Martin Methodist at 6:00.
Lena Bramblett’s women are hoping to rebound from last season’s 12-20 season. With a mixture of three returning starters and the best recruiting class in her nine seasons at St. Catharine, Bramblett looks to be competitive in the tough Mid-South Conference.
“This is by far the strongest group we have ever had here,” said Bramblett who has a 122-117 record with the Patriots. We have some depth now. We were very young last year but those players got a lot of quality minutes.”
J.T. Burton’s men are hopeful for a second straight trip to Kansas City for the NAIA National Tournament. Last year the Patriots turned in a 22-9 overall record and a 14-4 conference mark which put them in second place behind Georgetown.
“You look at the Mid-South Conference and we have the national champions (Pikeville) and a final four team (Georgetown),” said Burton. “Plus Campbellsville is reloaded, and every game is tough, especially on the road in this conference.”
The Patriots were ranked ninth in the Sporting News pre-season poll and 17th in the first NAIA poll.