Thursday, October 30, 2014

Australian brings new perspective to OU men's team

By Alejandro Villegas/Campus News Editor | 10/3/2012

Every year brings new enthusiasm as the college basketball season approaches.

Every year, there are new faces on the team. Freshman Patrick Banks, who is from Perth, Australia, is one of the newest faces for the Ottawa University men’s basketball team.

Every year brings new enthusiasm as the college basketball season approaches.

Every year, there are new faces on the team. Freshman Patrick Banks, who is from Perth, Australia, is one of the newest faces for the Ottawa University men’s basketball team.

He is adjusting to his new surroundings and teammates.

“People in Ottawa have been really accommodating, really nice and very social,” Bank said. “My teammates have been all nice.”

Sophomore Colin Nichols said Banks offers something unique to the Braves.

“He brings an international style and experience and a different vision of the game,” he said.

Ottawa coach Andy Carrier found out about Banks through contacts in Australia.

“After college I played a couple of seasons in Australia, so I have connections down there,” Carrier said.

The coach said several of his former Ottawa players have played in Australia.

One of those connections during his time in Australia was with Trevor Pugh, the under-20 national coach.

Patrick played for him.

“He was trying to find an opportunity for Patrick to come to the U.S. and to go to school,” Carrier said. “He talked with his assistant coach, who contacted me and how here he is. We are excited to have him here in Ottawa.”

Banks has a lot of qualities of players that have come through the Ottawa program the past two decades under Carrier’s guidance.

The coach said Banks is a talented athlete, who is competitive and passionate for the game.

“He is a 6-foot-1 combo guard,” Carrier said. “He is skilled enough to play the point, but also shoots the ball well enough to play off the point and play the off guard.

“It will be interesting to see how he makes some adaptions to our game. I think it would be an advantage for us to have someone that does play that style too.”

Banks’ goals are to contribute as much as he can.

“Individually, I would like to get some good minutes in the varsity team,” Banks said. “I am hoping for 10 to 15 minutes per game, especially playing behind Adam Hasty. He’s a very good guard.”

The Braves return four starters and 11 lettermen from last year’s 12-18 team. The addition of a good recruiting class to combine with the returners gives Carrier high hopes for the season.

“If we can stay healthy and work hard, it can be an outstanding season for us,” Carrier said.

“Our goal is to win the championship and get back to that national tournament.”

Ottawa opens the season Nov. 1 with an exhibition game at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla.

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