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Basketball Teams Ready to Step on the Court

DeAngelo Stewart during the dunk contest at Mastodon Madness.

Photo credit: Aaron Suozzi

DeAngelo Stewart during the dunk contest at Mastodon Madness.
Written by: Communicator StaffNovember 11, 2015

It is that time of the year again as the Mastodons men’s and women’s basketball teams are opening their 2015/2016 season. Excited to take the stage, IPFW’s teams are ready for an intense year. Both the women’s and men’s basketball teams started their season at home in Gates Sports Center. The women beat Goshen 82-67 on Nov. 4 and the men won 99-55 vs. Otterbein on Nov. 6. The women will continue at home for the next five games, which women’s basketball head coach Chris Paul is excited about.

“I love this year’s schedule, [it is the] first time since I’ve been here we have something like this,” Paul said.

Paul explained how much it means for a young team to start out their college careers on their home court.

The women’s team has focused on recruiting locally this year as five area players were added to the roster.

“Our recruiting class is one of the best one’s we’ve ever had,” Paul said.

It is not only local players that will be in their first season. Paul has also gained a new assistant coach, Andrea Williams, who is a Fort Wayne native and just as excited to be back in town.

“[She was a] great pick up for us because of all the knowledge and experience she brings,” Paul said. Williams is coming from a successful head coach position at Air Force Academy and has also been a succesful assistant

coach at University of Tampa and University of South Florida among others.

Paul feels great about the team and he hopes fans in Fort Wayne are too. By recruiting local talents, he looks forward to growing IPFW and its basketball in Fort Wayne, something he shares with men’s basketball heach coach John Coffman.

“We are trying to build our brand here,” Coffman said.

This year’s men’s basketball team will play five games at The Memorial Coliseum, and Coffman knows the history of basketball in the arena.

“We strive to be Fort Wayne’s team … we love playing in the coliseum,” Coffman said.

To do this the team has had several acitivies this semester such as Mini-dons, Coaches vs. Cancer and summer camps.

“[The] NCAA tournament, bringing that to this city, everybody would jump on board,” Coffman said.

The men had a good start but they are facing one of their toughest schedules ever, and for the first time in history they will head down to Bloomington to play IU.

“An exciting opportunity for our university,” Coffman said, as it has been announced that a three-year contract has been signed between the schools.

Coffman thinks this will be extra exciting for the Indiana native players as IU and basketball have a lot of history and many fans in the city.

The women will face IU for the third time as they visit the Gates Sports Center on Nov. 24.