TORONTO - The Ryerson Rams men’s basketball team has become synonymous with success, but they don’t want to become complacent with it.

The Rams enter the 2017-2018 as back-to-back defending OUA champions. Last year’s run saw the team make it all the way to the U SPORTS gold medal game in Halifax, claiming silver in the final against the Carleton Ravens. While these successes define the team’s past, they are in control of their future.

“The success of last year was tremendous, but that is in the past, and we must focus on now,” says assistant coach Borko Popic. “Every season is different and brings its own challenges and we are excited to embrace those together as a team.”

Popic, along with decorated head coach Roy Rana, have assembled a team of new and familiar faces for the upcoming season. Among those marking their final season in Ryerson’s blue and gold are fifth-year seniors Adam Voll and OUA First Team All-Star Ammanuel Diressa. While the Rams faithful await the final chapter of these key players, they are ready to welcome new, eagerly awaited additions to the Rams lineup. These include Tanor Ngom and Zubair Seyed, two highly touted recruits looking to make an impact in their freshman year to drive the team forward.

This preseason saw the Rams take on an array of competitors from around U SPORTS and NCAA. Playing teams not usually seen in their OUA schedule provided a unique opportunity for the Rams to hone their lineup on the court before taking on some more familiar faces. They will begin that battle on Friday, as they travel to take on the Algoma Thunderbirds in Sault Ste. Marie in their OUA regular season opener.

“The preseason offered us a great test against some of the top teams in the country,” Popic said. “It exposed some of the things we need to continue building on and we are working to do that as we prepare for our first league game at Algoma. The new additions are becoming more comfortable with our process and preparation and will be vital parts of our success not only this weekend but in all the games moving forward.”