NSU men’s basketball is ready for upcoming season
TNE Editor

NSU men’s basketball is ready for upcoming season


Ebba Moberg

TNE Writer

Coming from a past season with a new coach and many new players, NSU men’s basketball is ready to play better and do great things this season. Their 2017-2018 season ended with a close game loss against Washburn in overtime.

“We want to be better this season,” said Mark Downey, NSU men’s basketball head coach. “Going through a first year (for me at NSU) was very difficult. I think we have gotten better, and we have better players that can play in our system. I think we do have a little bit more talent and depth, and guys that can play the way we want to play, and I really like coaching them. So, we would like to get in that MIAA tournament this year and hopefully make some noise and be playing well at the end of the year.”

With ten new players, mostly transfers and junior college guys, and six returners on the roster, NSU men’s basketball is certainly a different team than they were last year. The returning players have helped the newcomers adjusting to the program and expectations are high for the first game.

“My expectations are high for this team this year,” said Montrey Thomas Jr., junior guard. “My teammates and I have been working extremely hard and we’re preparing for the first home game. We want to bring some excitement to our fans and make sure we start the season off with a win. The new players we have this year are going to help us in many ways to accomplish our goal, which is a championship win. Our new players have been adjusting well and are excited to begin this journey.”

Going into the 2018-2019 season, some rival schools will most likely be the University of Central Oklahoma, Pittsburg State and Missouri Southern. Downey is hoping these rivalries will grow stronger.

“UCO is a rivalry since we both are Oklahoma schools with ties in the MIAA,” said Downey. “We kind of grew a rivalry with Pitt State a little bit last year, and it got a little bit heated. Missouri Southern finished second in the league last year and when they came here they did not play very well, and we beat them by 30. So, those three schools I think have become as much of a rival as we have had here and hopefully we will start winning more games.”

With a lot of new players on the team it will take a lot out of the coaches, as well as the returning players, to help them get acclimated and prepared for the upcoming season. According to Josh Bougher, senior forward, it is important for all the players to be equally determined to work hard and being on the same page and enjoying the process.  

“We practice almost every day,” said Bougher. “On top of that, we lift weights four days out of the week and get in extra shots outside of practice. Coach Downey is doing a great job of getting us prepared in our practices. Northwest Missouri has recently been the best team in our league, but Missouri Southern was selected as the number team in the preseason rankings, so I am really looking forward to playing in that game.”

With high hopes from both coaching staff and players, the RiverHawks are ready to start their season with the MIAA/GAC Challenge at 2:15 p.m. on Nov. 7 at home.

“This is a really hard league, so I do not know if we can talk about championships and stuff like that yet,” said Downey. “But, I really do like our team this year. We have a lot of upperclassmen with experience, so I think we are going to be better. I do not know if the league is quite as tough (this year), because a lot of seniors that were really good last year graduated. Overall, I like where we are at, but we have got a long way to go and I think we just got to get better every day.”

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