Posted on: November 12, 2020 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

By Joey Fernandez, Sports Editor Intern

The best sports teams depend on chemistry, but social distancing makes creating that bond difficult. The Moraine Valley men’s basketball team members are figuring out how to get past that obstacle as they prepare for their season to begin in January.

With the global pandemic underlying the season, the players are adjusting to the new pod system that many college sports teams have adopted to allow them to practice in a socially distant manner.

“It’s weird because our whole team is in the gym at once,” says sophomore Trevon Jones. “But we aren’t working together because we’re in pods, and we may not have as much chemistry as we should have if we were practicing together.” 

Jones is adapting to this new style of training after a promising freshman season in which he averaged 12.6 points per game, shooting 62.6 percent from the field, and 7.7 rebounds per game. He looks to build on that success in his upcoming sophomore season.

Led by Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Newcomer Coach of the Year John Chappetto, the team hopes to carry momentum built during last year’s 25-7 campaign. This year’s delayed season, which normally would have begun in October, will start Jan. 23 at Triton College.

The pod system was formed to allow teams to follow protocols of COVID-19 and still run the same drills and get the same type of coaching essential to a team that is still trying to learn how to play with one another. 

In this type of practice, the players are separated by position, which can become an issue for long-term chemistry when games begin to take place.

MV men’s basketball head coach John Chappetto leads his team last season.

Jones says Chappetto helps the team succeed despite the obstacles.

“He has a huge impact,” Jones said. “He brings a lot of energy to the team, which gives us energy. He makes us work how we’re supposed to. He doesn’t allow anyone to slack off. He pushes everyone to be the best version of themselves.” 

This sort of energy was successful in Chappetto’s first season as the team was ranked as high as 11th in all of NJCAA Division II. 

With three key sophomore departures, the team looks to reload with the same mindset to further their success, with six new recruits added to round out the team. 

Incoming players include 6’3” guard Kobe Adams, who is coming off of a promising high school career averaging 20 points per game and earning an All-State honorable mention.

Another key addition to the recruiting class is a 6’5” forward from Brother Rice High School, Deandre Hagan, who is known for his tenacious defense and ability to shoot the ball from three-point range.

With big-time signings like these, the team’s success may be sustainable for the long haul.

While this season may not start in the most conventional way, the pieces are there and the Cyclones expect it to end in success like many others in recent history.