The men’s club basketball team is beginning a new year under co-captains senior Alex Capps and senior Riley Edwards. The team plays during both semesters of the school year and has played in both regional and national tournaments in years prior.
“It’s kind of like AAU for college students,” Capps said.
The team plays in the NIRSA league, where they compete against other colleges such as ECU and Georgia Tech. Thanks to the number of students on the team, the club is able to send two teams to compete in tournaments, Team Wolf and Team Pack.
Both captains play on Team Pack, with Capps playing either guard position and Edwards playing either wing.
Other players to look out for this season include Team Wolf junior point guards Cam Wimbish and Justin McCluney, and graduate shooting guard BJ Durham, joining Capps and Edwards on Team Pack.
According to Capps, the club has multiple coaches, along with being led by the captains. Mike Strawbridge and John Barnett are the head coaches on the team, while Wes Manning and Matt Hartl are the assistant coaches.
Capps said the club is returning 17 players this year, an impressive number to be bringing back. The team is also bringing in 11 new guys on the team, according to Capps. Of the total 28 players, eight players are practice players only, meaning Team Wolf and Team Pack each have 10 players.
“This is the biggest the club has ever been in terms of number of people,” Capps said. “Last year, we had trouble with attendance; some guys were not able to show up to practice, so it is nice to see.”
Last season, the team had a strong season, winning multiple games and participating in several tournaments. Capps said the team traveled to East Carolina and won a few games in the regional tournament there.
According to Capps, the club also made it to the championship round against Florida in a tournament, but unfortunately lost. Capps said the team even flew out to Wichita, Kansas, and made it to the final four in the tournament there.
“We are definitely looking to build off of last season,” Capps said. “With the amount of returning players this season, we have high expectations.”
According to Capps, the team begins play in the last weekend of September, with the team’s first tournament in Wilmington on Sept. 28. After this, the team will travel to Georgia Tech and play on Oct. 12-13, then face James Madison Oct. 19-20.
There is extra incentive to win regional tournaments this season, as the team that wins gets a free, all-expense-paid trip to nationals. This is probably the only way the team will participate in nationals, according to Capps.
“We would love to see some students attend some home games,” Capps said. “We are all super pumped for the season. Go Pack!”
Capps said NC State students will get a chance to go and watch the men’s club team starting Nov. 23-24 in Carmichael Gym, where admission is free to students who want to come by and support the team. There will be more home tournaments open to students in Carmichael next semester.