NEW ORLEANS — “This has been the most difficult year that I’ve ever coached,” says Dillard Head Basketball Coach Mike Newell.
4 months into the Dillard’s Men’s Basketball Team’s regular season, the Bleu Devils played just their 7th basketball game earlier this week.
Dillard defeated Southeastern Baptist College Monday, 106-61.
“It is actually our first home game and our first non-conference game. We’ve only played 6 games and they’ve all been conference, so we needed this game,” says Coach Newell.
Dillard’s typical 30-game regular season schedule won’t happen this year.
A number that seems impossible to reach this season because of the pandemic.
“We played 30 last year, that’s how many you normally get, and we had 30 this year but we’ve had all of them cancelled up until now.”
All of Dillard’s games in the months of November and December were postponed or cancelled.
The Bleu Devils played their first regular season game January 11th.
While a 30-game season is an after-thought at this point, the program’s goal right now is to play ten.
“You’ve got to get to in order to qualify for the national tournament… If we can get our ten in, you know, we’ve been top 25. We’re ranked 3rd in the region in the southeastern part of the country, which is very important. So, we want to get to that national tournament for sure,” says Coach Newell.
Coach Mike Newell says that games, let alone, practices have been hard to come by.
While the trials and tribulations of this college basketball season have taken a toll on his team, there is a positive aspect to it all.
“We get all of these kids back. The NAIA gave them an extra year. So, it’s not like we’re wasting, that would be hard on me and them from the standpoint of knowing the you’re going to lose some of these guys. So, we get them all back and hopefully we’ll have this thing under control by the end of the summer,” says Coach Newell.
As of Friday, Dillard has added two more games to its regular season schedule.