SCF Basketball Team Season Starts Nov. 5

(Bradenton, Fla., November 1, 2011) — As State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) Manatees Basketball Head Coach Joe Whelton prepares for his first season at SCF, he has been encouraged by his players’ teamwork, which he believes will be key to the team’s success.

SCF opens the season on November 5 at Daytona State College. The Manatees will open their home schedule at Hal Chasey Gymnasium on November 9 against the College of Central Florida.

“We need to stay together,” Whelton said. “The teams that stay together are the teams that are most successful in the second half of the year. I have been impressed with how these 15 young men have gotten along and they have given me 100 percent in practice.”

Whelton brings a wealth of basketball experience to SCF. The Venice resident coached two years in high school, two years as an assistant coach at the University of Hartford and 27 years as a professional coach in Europe. He has enjoyed his new challenge at SCF and has seen a lot of improvement since he took the reins in August.

“The transition has worked out well. At this level you see a 19-year-old freshman improve so much in a week. We are making progress,” Whelton said.

The Manatees could rely on several freshmen this year. SCF has nine players heading into their first year at the collegiate level.

“We have a lot of depth at guard but not a lot under the basket,” Whelton said. “We possibly could have three guys start that have never played college basketball.”

SCF follows its home opener with the SCF Classic November 11-13. The Manatees face Monroe College out of New York in its first game of the event at 8 p.m., Nov. 11.

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