Men’s basketball season starts off in Ohio

Tyler Nagy, Staff Writer

The Wayne State College men’s basketball team kicks off the 2017-2018 season this Friday as it heads to Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

“This could potentially be a really big year for us,” said Vance Janssen, junior guard. “We have a lot of older guys that know how this thing works.”

The Wildcats sport seven total seniors this year, an uncommon amount for any team, which they hope will translate into success. Janssen also stressed that this is the second year for the new coaching staff, which allows the team to understand how to better run the game plan presented.

The Wildcats returned everyone from last year’s team and added three new faces, freshmen Nosa Wema and Ben Dentlinger, as well as a junior college transfer, Trevin Joseph.

The 10-19 record of the ’Cats last year does not show the improvements made from the previous season. They led in the second half of every road game last year, and played multiple top 25 teams early in the season.

“We had so many close games last year that we just couldn’t pull out at the end,” said J.J. Zumbrennen, senior guard. “A couple different bounces of the ball and we would have had a way better record. Hopefully we can find a way to get the job done in those close game situations this year.”

The Wildcats held a scrimmage against Des Moines Area Community College on Saturday and played well. Kendall Jacks, redshirt junior forward, was Second-Team All-NSIC last season and had an outstanding day against DMACC.

“We moved the ball so well,” said Jacks. “They couldn’t guard us because the ball was flying around and keeping them out of position.”

The two teams played two 20-minute games and one 10-minute game. WSC won all three, winning by more than 20 points in the first 20-minute session.

The Wildcats head to Dayton, Ohio this weekend for their first and only exhibition game against a Division I team, Wright State University. Their first regular season game is Nov. 10 at Nebraska Kearney and then they turn around right away and play Kearney again at home two days later.

The team had planned a trip to Puerto Rico for Thanksgiving break, but recent hurricanes have left the facilities unusable. The team scheduled a tournament in Sioux Falls in lieu of the Puerto Rico trip. The Wildcats will play against New York Institute of Technology and Missouri Southern in the Sanford Pentagon Showcase on Nov. 25 and 26.