Williams men's basketball team set to play in Spain next week
WILLIAMSTOWN — Mike Greenman isn't going to get a chance to play overseas next week. But that doesn't mean the Williams College point guard isn't excited about his team's upcoming trip.
"We decided it would be best if I kept it easy and didn't push it for the overseas trip," said Greenman, who played only four games last year before suffering a foot injury that required surgery.
"I think it's going to be an awesome experience," said Greenman. "It'll give us a lot of time to create memories, hanging out with our best friends in a different countries. On top of that, we'll get to play against a different type of competition, different level of competition."
Williams coach Kevin App will be taking his 12 returning players, including Greenman, on the one-week trip. The Ephs will leave Boston on Saturday and spend a week in Spain, playing three games against Spanish pro squads.
The team will be staying in the Barcelona area.
"I'm really excited. It's going to be an awesome opportunity as far as getting a head start on building that chemistry toward the season," Williams guard Cole Teal said, when reached at his Chesterton, Ind., home. "We'll play three games and have two shootarounds. It'll be an awesome team bonding experience."
App, who begins his third year at the Williams helm, said that incoming freshmen are not eligible to make the trip. Only three members of last year's team did not return. The three — Ed Flynn, Adam Harrell and Luke Thoreson — earned their diplomas in June.
Teal said he was on his way to Williamstown to join up with Greenman and several other Ephs who have been working App's summer camps. The rest of the team will meet up at Logan International Airport for the trip to Spain.
Williams was 15-10 last year and reached the NESCAC tournament semifinals.
"We've all been working out in our separate hometowns or where we've been working over the summer," said Teal, who spent the summer interning with Fenway Sports Group in Boston, and played a lot of basketball with former Ephs Mike Crotty, Chuck Abba and Mike Kearney.
"It'll be awesome to come together and play as a team," said Teal, "and show that hard work we put in all summer."
For the Williams coach, this is not only a chance to see the sights and build team chemistry, but it will be an opportunity for App, along with assistants Brian Emerson and Justin Bradley, to see where the Ephs are as they look ahead to the 2016-17 season.
"As a coach, [watching] the competition part, you get to see an early gimpse of where guys are at, how hard they worked during the summer," said App, "and give them a clearer picture of where we need to get to come November."
It is also a chance for App to break in his newest staff member. Bradley joined the Eph staff this summer after spending the 2015-16 season on former coach Paul Cormier's staff at Dartmouth. Bradley was not retained by new coach David McLaughlin.
Bradley has Division I and III experience. He played at Division III Guilford College in North Carolina, and was a freshman on the Guilford bench when his team lost to Williams 97-88 in an NCAA Division III national semifinal in 2010. He spent two years at Division I North Carolina Central as director of basketball operations and graduate manager before going to Dartmouth.
"He's probably one of the more experienced assistant coaches we've had here at Williams," App said. "He's worked three years at the Division I level. He played high level Division III.
"He understands our level and then in his time at Dartmouth, he understands the type of player, the type of academics and the type of balance we're looking for."
Bradley, who was a guard at Guilford, joins Emerson on the Williams staff. He replaces Mick Hedgepeth, who took a job during the summer at Division III Sewanee.
"I think Coach Bradley doesn't understand how beneficial this is going to be for him," App said. "I had the opportunity when I was an assistant. I met the team for the first time in the airport when we went to Italy in 2008."
Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.