The Catamounts are taking advantage of the summer months so they can dominate the cold months in the upcoming 2019-2020 season.
The team scrimmaged on Friday afternoon and Local 22/44’s Lauren Walsh got to see the new-look Cats and chat with head coach John Becker about what’s ahead.
Vermont lost some crucial size with forward Samuel Dingba graduating and Ra Kpedi deciding to transfer after the completion of last season.
Coach Becker is filling that frontcourt void with two promising transfers in Daniel Giddens from Alabama and Oklahoma State transfer Duncan Demuth, both of whom will be immediately eligible to play for Vermont.
“The one thing we haven’t done is beat a high major (team) or advance when we’ve gotten to the NCAA tournament and I think one of the reasons is because we just haven’t had that legitimate size up front,” Becker said. “Hopefully with Daniel (Giddens) and Duncan (Demuth) we’ll be in a better position when we do play the high majors this year.”
Becker also touched on the importance of Anthony Lamb returning to Catamount Country.
“Obviously Anthony is an incredible player and was Player of the Year in our conference last year and declared for the NBA Draft, and worked out for three teams and got some good feedback,” Becker detailed. “So he’s been really motivated this off-season. I expect him to have a great year again as a senior. Him along with Everett (Duncan) are the leaders of our team and I feel really comfortable with those two guys instilling our culture and our system to the young guys and holding everyone accountable.”
The Catamounts boast nine returning players including Lamb. Additionally, Vermont brings back four of its five top-scorers from last season.
“The expectations and hype around this team are as high as they’ve ever been,” Becker expressed. “Sometimes that can give you a false sense of security and I want to make sure we do the work, put in the time, build the chemistry, do this thing the right way and if we do, we’ll have a chance to be pretty good I think.”