PITTSBURG, Kan. — Basketball season is officially here, and the Pittsburg State University men’s basketball team won their first exhibition game of the season this past Friday, 82-75, over Avila.
The Gorillas went 10-12 last season and missed the MIAA tournament, but they feel the future is looking bright. The team will feature five new players, including two true freshman and three transfers. However, forward Bobby Arthur Williams Jr. is rehabbing a foot injury and likely won’t be able to play until January.
Kim Anderson, head coach, says, “I think during the year, guys are gonna get better, guys are gonna mature. The new guys that are here will feel more comfortable fitting in with the older guys. Then maybe we get Bobby back the first of the year, and we’ll be more complete. So yeah, I think we’ll be competitive every night.”
Quentin Hardrict Jr., guard, says, “We have everything. We had everything last year, and we have even more this year. It’s just about going out every night and playing as hard as we can, and that’s what we try to focus on every day.”
The women, on the other hand, have yet to play an exhibition match. The team went 14-8 in conference play last season. They lost 3X All-MIAA selection Kaylee DaMitz, but that’s not to say they don’t have significant veterans on the team. Guards Tristan Gegg and Sydnee Crain are returning to the team, as well as Julia Johnson and Erin Davis. There are also several freshman to look out for, including Grace Pyle.
Head coach Amanda Davied believes they’re easing into the offense well.
Davied says, “We’ve had a lot of success in our past with offense, so it’s a good base for us, the dribble drive. And so that’s helped. Then of course, all of our sets have had multiple options, and so I feel like with that the ball is gonna be moving, touching different hands. So with that, it makes it tougher to guard, because we know that multiple people are going to be shooting it.”
Crain says, “I feel good. I think, obviously we’re young. Everyone has room to improve, obviously, so I’m excited for how the freshman love the game. They’re in here every single day, so I think it’s really gonna help out everybody.”