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Helfer: VSU’s trail blazer

With a 15-2 record, the VSU men’s basketball program is rolling along as they continue through the 2009-2010 season.
When Head Coach Mike Helfer came to VSU from Southern Polytechnic University four years ago, few people knew what to expect in Blazer nation; however some knew there was a winner sitting at the helm of the program. Senior leadership, chemistry and playing one game at a time are keys for the Blazers this season according to Helfer, as they will look to their seven seniors on the roster for guidance throughout the season when faced in difficult times.
The Blazers’ made two improbable runs last season. The first came in the Gulf South Conference tournament when they made the GSC Tournament final and when they reached the NCAA tournament as a 6th seed before losing to Claflin University in the first round. Helfer is quick to note his team realizes they are highly ranked and favored this season, as the Blazers’ were picked to win the GSC this season and currently hold the 8th place ranking in the NABC Division II Men’s basketball poll.
“The best teams make long tournament runs when they are playing their best at the end of the year,” said Helfer.
As far as continuing the success past this season once the seven seniors, which includes All-American Tyrone Curnell, depart at the end of the season, Helfer believes a rebuilding process is not in order, but more a reloading process is next for his program.
“Every college sports team has to deal with graduation,” Helfer said. “We have to continue to recruit good players to Valdosta State. Once they get here, the university sells itself.”
Helfer and the Blazers return to action on tonight when they host West Alabama and Alabama-Huntsville on Saturday night.

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