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<p>Head Coach Andy Winters directing practice</p>
Head Coach Andy Winters directing practice

Otterbein's men's basketball looks to turn struggles into success

After a 14-12 record last year, the Otterbein Men's Basketball team plans to use their skill and experience to dominate the competition heading into the 2023-2024 season.

Most of the teams' experience is thanks to Head Coach Andy Winters. Winters is entering his 5th year as the Cardinals head coach and holds a record of 41-45, but with back-to-back winning seasons, he will likely bring his coaching record at Otterbein to over .500. 

Going into this season, Winters is implementing a simple rule for his team, “finish.” Last season the team went on a five-game losing streak after starting 14-7.

Aside from finishing, Winters wants the team to focus on defense and ball security. “We need to execute better on defense and limit turnovers and second possessions,” said Winters. The team averaged 12.6 turnovers per game last season and gave up over 70 points per game. 

Although the team had its fair share of struggles, they also had their share of highlights. Overall, the team shot 43% from the field and 34% from behind the arc. Their shooting and scoring ability helped bring their scoring average to 72.2 per game, with enormous help from junior Cam Evans (17.9ppg) and senior Dallas Patrick (12.4ppg).

Most of last seasons roster will return, but they have added a few transfers. The transfers are headlined by the reigning NCAC player of the year, Jack Clement. He averaged 23.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. Another key player for the Cardinals is Julian Heckman. Heckman is the reigning OAC freshman of the year and plays a crucial role for Otterbein. 

With all of the new additions, Winters' main focus during the off-season was to make sure the team came together. “We need to gel as a team. We can compete and do something this season,” said Winters. He is confident that his team has what it takes to compete with top competition this year and for more years to come. 

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