The Texas A&M University-Kingsville Javelina men’s basketball team will look to improve on last season’s 13-13 overall record when they kick off their season Nov. 12 against St. Mary’s University.
Last season, the Javelinas made the LSC tournament only to be bounced in the first round losing to Incarnate Word in overtime.
The Javelinas return leading scorer and senior Rashad Basey, fellow senior guard Dwight Taylor and senior forward Mike Evans. Adonis Bailey, junior from Chicago, looks to play a key role this season after playing just 17 games last season.
Head Coach Pete Peterson said the senior leadership will be key for his team this season.
“One of our key leaders this year will be Rashad Basey; he is the second leading scorer returning in the conference. It’s great to have somebody with a lot of experience like that and as a matter of fact we just named him the team captain,” Peterson said.
Last season, Basey played the point guard position, but with the emergence of Ronald Scott, the Javelinas are looking to play Basey in more of a three guard role based on his scoring and rebounding ability.
Scott is a lightning quick first point guard who is very capable of scoring in bunches.
The front court of the Javelinas will feature a bevy of players including forwards Irvin Hollinger, Jordan Jahr, Robert Powell and Mike Evans.
Peterson said though they have lack of size down low, he still believes his guys can get the job done on the boards.
“I think we are pretty quick. We are not super big inside we are about 6’4, 6’5, and 6’6 on the inside,” Peterson said. “We are trying to push the ball a little bit more than we have in the past; it’s a team right now and they are really together.”
The Javelinas were picked to finish fifth in the LSC preseason poll, the same spot they finished last year. The Javelinas plan to be a high-octane offense with a defense that will get back and defend and hustle for the loose balls.
Coach Peterson said the LSC will be tough this season.
“The league is as difficult as it has ever been.” Everybody is loaded this season,” Peterson said. “The Lone Star Conference was ranked as the second best conference in all of Division II based on win percentage.”
The Javelinas want to run the court and force teams to run with them and make the easy transition points that are essential in a winning basketball team.
The goal for the Javelinas is to improve day by day; they want to get one step closer to getting back to the NCAA.
The Javelinas expect to put on quite the show this season and Coach Peterson said he wants the fans to know that they can expect nothing but excitement and thrills this season.
“When people come to the games they are going to say, ‘wow I didn’t know they are that fast.’ The way the Steinke center is set up you can see everything; it’s the speed of the game,” Peterson said.
“We got a group of guys who really care about this university and are going to represent themselves in the right way and they are going to give you everything they got. They are going to hustle for every loose ball. Our effort, our hustle and determination is going to be off the charts,” Peterson added.
The Javelinas open the season Nov. 12 on the road against St. Mary’s University. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.