UVM basketball teams face busy off-seasons
Men’s team replaces top four players in minutes played; Utterback, Richason decide on fifth seasons
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - As the first weekend of the NCAA tournaments nears its end, so too do the seasons of both UVM basketball programs. The men’s team fell to Marquette on Friday in Columbus, and the women’s team defeated by UConn on Sunday in Storrs.
Both teams combined to end the year on a 32-game winning streak before their tournament losses - a 15-game winning streak for the men, and 17 games for the women. And even though Alisa Kresge’s team couldn’t make it 18 in a row, getting back to the tournament for the first time in over a decade was an enormous step for the program.
“The outcome is what it is, but I am really proud. We stayed true to who we are, we kept fighting and we didn’t give up,” Kresge said postgame. “I felt like we played with more confidence offensively in this game than we did in the championship game. I think there’s a lot of good things to take from this, it’s an incredible opportunity for this group, they worked so hard to get here. And now it’s a little taste, and I hope they stay hungry and want more of this.”
One of the stories of the offseason is whether Delaney Richason, Emma Utterback, or both players will return to UVM for their fifth season. And if you’re looking for answers right now, you’ll have to wait a little while longer.
“I don’t have a comment on that right now. I think, take that as you please,” Richason said.
“Like Delaney said, I can’t comment on it just yet. So, that’s my answer,” Utterback echoed.
On the men’s side, the Cats that take the floor next year will look a lot different than this year’s version. The team’s top four guys in minutes played will be gone. In some ways, though, it’ll be similar - there will be a lot of new faces next fall, just like there were this past fall. And after a busy off-season a year ago, John Becker says they have a better sense of how to approach recruiting this time around to complement the familiar faces they do have.
“We got a lot of good pieces returning. We have to go find some new players. I thought last year in the portal, we didn’t know how that worked necessarily. Maybe we shot for guys too high to come here,” Becker said. “Like I’ve said, the portal is kind of like speed dating. You have to identify the right ones, otherwise you’re chasing the wrong ones and you end up at square one. I think we have a beter understanding about that and who might be attracted to us, we’re not as pretty as we thought I guess.”
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