Pitt State men’s and women’s basketball gets set for the season amid COVID-19 pandemic
PSU will play 22-game MIAA only schedule starting on November 18
PITTSBURG, Kan. – The 2020-21 basketball season will look a little different for the Pittsburg State Gorillas. Because of coronavirus pandemic the MIAA is going to an all-conference schedule, playing 22 games this winter, beginning on November 18.
“So that gives us a month of practice,” says PSU women’s head coach Amanda Davied. “You don’t have any exhibitions. So you don’t feel like you have to get it in quiet as fast, but at the same time you don’t have a lot of time to get some stuff in, so it’s kind of full speed ahead.”
With the limited schedule ahead, the Gorillas see there is no room for error.
“We’re going to play 22 games — they’re all conference games. And so if you want to compete for a conference championship, you got to be ready every game,” says PSU men’s head coach Kim Anderson.
“To win, you got to be competitive. You got to be able to play defense. You got to be able to score and you got to play as a unit. One person can’t do it by themselves,” adds PSU women’s basketball player Kaylee DaMitz.
The Pitt State women bring back 9 players, including fifth-year senior Maya Williams and juniors Kaylee Damitz and Tristan Gegg, who started in at least 23 games last season. The women will be relying on that maturity this year.
“We are older. We have more experience than most teams…after a few teams have lost quite a few of their starters and seniors. And it’s nice to finally be one of the older teams,” says DaMitz.
“The more experience as a team that we have the farther we’re going to go. And our freshman, honestly, for being freshmen — they don’t play like freshmen. They seem experience and knowledge in the game and they’re super ready to go too. So we’re ready from the top to the bottom and that’s what you need,” adds Gegg.
This pandemic presents a different type of adversity that teams across the nation have to face. Coach Anderson says when preparing for the season, it was important to get some depth.
“We think we’ve recruited some guys that if something does happen, they can step right in and play,” adds Anderson. “And we don’t know what’s going to happen. Nobody knows what’s going to happen. So so far so good for us. We’re just hopeful that continues so that we can play our season.”
Pitt State opens the season on the road against Newman in one month, but with the uncertainty surrounding the season, the gorillas are not taking anything for granted.
“Now, people feel like everyday is extremely limited,” adds Davied. “You know, you just don’t know how many you have. And so if you’re here and you’re able to be here then you might as well make the most of it. And I think that’s what I’ve seen from our group. Is just that we’re having a lot of fun. We’re really enjoying together.”