EvCC Men’s Basketball: Season Preview

Ricky Hester, Staff Writer

Expectations are very high for the EvCC Men’s Basketball team this year, since they made it all the way to the NWAC championships last year. The team has lost Dominique Mcclendon and his 17.53 PPG, but the Trojans plan to continue improving on their success from last season. After a hard off-season of working out, Head Coach Larry Walker feels that his Trojans are looking stronger than ever, while constantly recruiting to bring in more fresh talent.

Derek Brown Jr. is the standout guard this year, returning from last year’s squad as a freshman, in which he led the team averaging 19.13 PPG throughout the whole season. Brown’s highest scoring game of the season was 38 points. Those 19.13 PPG were good enough to place him 7th in total NWAC scoring. Brown’s off-season consisted of playing in the Seattle Prime summer league with professional NBA basketball players Jamal Crawford, Terrance Williams, Nate Robinson, and Zach Lavigne.

Being the returning leading scorer Brown said, “I feel like I have to step up as more of a leader, it’s a huge season for us and important players have left from last season. So I feel like I need to improve as a teammate and a captain.” Brown was asked what his expectations were for the upcoming season. He said the whole team agrees that they will win the NWAC championship in their own building this year. Also stating that the players don’t want to see another school celebrate a title, while the team sits in the bleachers. Quadir Williams is another guard returning this year that shared the backcourt with Brown last season, carrying some of the load.

With the entire NWAC stacked from top to bottom as it usually is, coach Walker seems to think the Trojans toughest competition may be Whatcom, Peninsula, and Bellevue. Although Walker said, “It is tough to judge the competition at this time of the year and that a person can get a good look at the league by January because of player injuries, bad grades, and transfers in or out of the school.”

The first exhibition game for the EvCC men is on Nov. 22, against Lower Columbia Community College. The first tournament game played for the Trojans is the Red Devil Classic on Nov. 27, at Lower Columbia Community College, against Centralia at 3:00 p.m., marking an important start to the 2015-16 season for the EvCC Men’s Basketball team. This may also be the start of something big for this team. Could it end with them raising the NWAC trophy in their own gym? We will have to wait and see.