A pair of Bradley players from the 2006 Sweet 16 team see similarites between their squad and the current Braves.
And they say it starts with the coaching staff.
“We believed in Coach (Jim) Les and I believe this team believes in Coach (Brian) Wardle, which they should. They believe what he is telling them,” said Daniel Ruffin, a point guard on the 2016 Braves. “They are starting to see results now. An dnow you are starting to get the fans behind you That’s what it’s all about and you just ride that momentum.”
The 2016 Braves finished as the MVC Tournament runner-up, got an at-large bid to the NCAA’s and upset Kansas and Pittsburgh in the first two rounds.
“I think there are a lot of similarities. The coaching staff, too,” said Jeremy Crouch, a shooting guard on the BU team from 13 years ago. “They continue to make them work, hold them accountable. That’s one of the things I love about Coach Wardle, he always talks about accountability. He realy holds them too it. The kids have bought in and that’s why they are having success.”
Bradley, the Missouri Valley Conference tournament champion, will learn its NCAA assignment Sunday night.