Written by: Duncan Forbes
The season began with floods of optimism as Rick Plato was named the next head coach of a young Tigers squad. The season kicked off with a battle against the eventual CIS Champion Carleton, when the Tigers were humbled by the powerhouse Ravens.
The Tigers couldn’t repeat as tournament champions at the Rod Shoveller Memorial Tournament this year. They defeated the Bishop’s Gaiters in their first matchup, but followed up the win with tough losses to Acadia and UPEI.
It was a big learning experience for the young Tigers team, for both the players and the coaches.
“My first year at Dalhousie made it very clear that there’s no substitute for hard work, preparation and commitment,” says coach Plato. “I always preach the importance of the small things, and so many of the little things which were inconsistent in executing cost us too many games.”
This marks the end of an illustrious career for former AUS second team all-star Simon Marr and forward Nathan Smith, who both made an impact during their time with the Tigers.
“As a quiet leader on and off the court, Simon provided consistency, confidence and a huge post presence all season long. Nathan Smith provided depth, encouragement and consistency to a young team when it was needed most,“ says Plato.
The bitter taste of missing the playoffs will serve as stern motivation for next year’s Tigers squad, who have 13 players eligible to return. The coaching staff, returning players and new recruits will have a new sense of commitment to doing what is necessary to return to the Metro Centre next March.