Sort of a grudge match for Howard since Pitt pasted them last year, 70-46. (Anyone buying it? No? Moving on.)
The Bison are at .500 at the moment. They may have been thrashed by Old Dominion and Harvard but they dominated other opponents.
A revamped men’s basketball team is off to a 2-1 start after starting the season last weekend in Burr Gymnasium. The Bison defeated Washington College 69-52 last Friday and routed Gwynedd Mercy University 83-66 on the following Sunday afternoon.
Howard has not won the first two games of the season in over a decade, and with 10 new precocious freshman, more wins hope to follow over the next four years.
Optimism about Howard basketball. It’s the end of times.
More about Howard. The Bison are in a complete roster overhaul, as indicated with 10 — count ‘emm 10 — freshmen.
[Howard Head Coach Kevin] Nickelberry applied a similar strategy to this year’s team.
“It’s easier long term to rebuild with freshmen than junior college transfers,” said Nickelberry, who was 23-69 in his first three seasons at Howard. “I knew the first few years it would be a little rocky, but we have to upgrade the talent.
“Even though they are talented, there’s going to be some days and nights and practices when it’s just not working.”
Howard is 0-2 on this road trip after blowout losses at Old Dominion (77-55) and Harvard (76-44). Sunday’s game against Pitt will be followed by another road game Thursday at Houston, followed by an even longer trip to Brookings, S.D., for two more games in the Legends Classic. Howard also visits USC in December.
“I picked the teams myself, who we wanted to play against, the type of teams we wanted to play,” Nickelberry said.
Howard is still a MEAC team, forced to help balance their entire athletic department budget as a rent-a-patsy team.
Derrick Randall was expected to provide some rebounding and someone to spell Mike Young and Talib Zanna in the frontcourt. He’s actually scoring a bit, which is a bonus. Yes, the opponents are not the strongest, but let’s try to stay positive.