After an exhi­bition game against the reigning MAC Champs, the Uni­versity of Toledo Rockets, the Chargers’ men’s bas­ketball team is now two weeks from the beginning of their season.

The team is coming off of perhaps their best season in program history. Last season’s Chargers fin­ished with a 21 – 3 overall record and topped the G‑MAC with a 19 – 1 record in con­ference play. 

“We know we’re going to have a target on our backs this year because of the type of season that we had last year, we’re looking to embrace that chal­lenge,” junior forward Patrick Cartier said. 

The team faced off against a tough division I opponent in their exhi­bition game on Sat­urday. The Chargers, though, were able to keep the game within single digits until the final 5:24 of the game, when the Rockets shot off on a 18 – 2 run to finish the game with a com­manding 93 – 68 win.

“I told the team afterward that I wasn’t pleased with some of the things that I did leading up to the game as a coach, and with some of the deci­sions that we made in the game and with some of our prepa­ration,” Head Coach John Tharp said. 

The Chargers will now look forward to the beginning of their regular season. The National Asso­ci­ation of Bas­ketball Coaches released their Division II pre­season rankings, which put Hillsdale at number seven.

“It’s good to be rec­og­nized, but at the same time we try not to pay too much attention to them just because nothing’s given to you,” senior forward Austen Yarian said. “Everyone’s going to try to give us their best game so we just have to be as pre­pared as we can for every game.”

The first official game of the season comes on Nov. 12 at Saginaw Valley State Uni­versity. That will begin a slew of five non-con­ference games across the next two weeks before the start of con­ference play in December.

“Our non-con­ference schedule is brutal,” Tharp said. “We expect to win every time we step on the floor, but we’re not there yet, we’re not making enough winning plays at practice for you to call us a seventh ranked team.”