Nov. 16, 2009
Feature by Student Assistant Brian Elser (BE)
Bronco junior Ben Dowdell (BD) broke the school record his freshman year for minutes played and was third on the team in steals. The North Nowra, N.S.W., Australia native is one of four juniors on a team with no seniors and is expected to be a team leader on and off the court this season. Dowdell talks about what he did this past off season and what lies ahead for the young team this year.
BE: Last year you started 10 games and were third on the team in rebounds with 3.5 RPG. What did you do this past off-season?
BD: I had surgery on my right wrist as it was giving me some trouble towards the end of last season. The rehab lasted for about six weeks, and during that time I went home for a month and visited my family back in Australia. I trained with my brother and some of his friends. For the second half of the summer, we were all in summer school here and we got to do a lot of fitness work with Joe Siara, our strength and conditioning coach. Personally, I really worked hard on my ball-handling and free-throw shooting during this time.
BE: There are a lot of new faces on the team this year. What is your leadership role going to be this season?
BD: Just trying to help get the new guys accustomed to the team concepts, as a lot of the new guys will play right away so its important that everyone is on the same page as soon as possible. Also setting an example with how hard we need to work in practice and really getting the guys going day in and day out.
BE: What are some of the team goals this year?
BD: Making the post-season is our main goal. It would be awesome and we haven't done it in a long time. The easiest way to do this is to win the conference, which is really important to us. Personally, I'd love to beat Saint Mary's because there are a lot of Aussies on the team that I know and it would be really nice to have the bragging rights. This year we also really want to win all our home games and make the Leavey center a tough place to play.
BE: What style of play will the Broncos play this season?
BD: It's going to be a lot more fast-paced since a lot of the new guys are really athletic and without having big John inside we'll be a lot quicker up and down the court. We'll also be able to be a lot more aggressive on defense, which will force more turnovers and help us score a lot more transition points. Being smaller we'll have to make a conscious effort to really rebound, as we do not want that to be an issue.
BE: I noticed that you are growing some facial hair. What's the story with your Mo(mustache)?
BD: I'm growing it out for 'Movember.' Some of my buddies and I have been growing out mustaches to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancer during the month of November. So it's a bit of a laugh, but actually doing some good! To make donations you can go to http://us.movember.com/mospace/404950 - it all goes to a good cause!!