MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The spread of COVID-19 is changing the way college athletic programs go about their business as teams try to prepare with a limited amount of tools.
The spring may look different than year’s past with a pandemic putting a halt to sports, but many area coaches are doing their best to keep student-athletes in the game by bringing in some big names to team meetings.
“That’s what we’re trying to do right now, we’ve been doing Zoom meetings once a week trying to bring in different people, we’ve had Frank Martin from South Carolina talk to our guys, Stephen Bardo, ESPN analyst has talked to our guys, Matt Painter from Purdue has talked to our guys and business people too,” said MSU men’s basketball head coach Matt Margenthaler.
RIght now the Mavericks are benefiting from those valuable chats.
“The big thing is that they have time too, they’re home, getting used to the new norm as well. It’s a small world, I know these guys, obviously being on the board of directors has helped me know some of these bigger names. It’s been good for our players, they get sick of hearing myself. They want to hear different voices, a lot of times they’re saying the same things I say, just in a different way,” said Margenthaler.
MSU is coming off a season where the squad finished 17-15 advancing all the way to the NSIC tournament title game.
The Mavericks relied on a number of young players after dealing with a handful of injuries.
“We had injuries from the first day of school, and it never ended. Our guys handled the adversity pretty well, we really focused on the end of the season, we knew we had to if we wanted to make a push to the NCAA. Our guys did a great job of staying with it, I thought going into the postseason, that really would help us. With COVID-19, that’s kind of slowed the process down a little bit, but the core guys are coming back. The guys that want to be here, that want to go for it, and make something special the next couple of years are here, and that’s going to be fun to watch,” Margenthaler added.
The Mavericks are 410-180 in Margenthaler’s time as the program’s head coach.