By Rubi Torres, staff writer
The start of the basketball season keeps narrowing in as the team looks forward to hosting five of its first six games.
This year, the men’s basketball team has 11 returning players, six of which are seniors. They include: Shamar Acuay, Bobby Wesley, Kalub Long, Josh Pleasant, Connor Walker and Darrell Traylor.
With the help of these seniors, the Jets finished last year’s season as the second-ranked team in the Heartland Conference, with an overall record of 18-9, a conference record of 10-4 and an undefeated home-court record of 12-0.
Senior Josh Pleasant said that the Jets continue to strive for their goals.
“I look forward to getting farther than last year,” Pleasant said. “I’m looking forward to staying undefeated on our home floor as well.”
Pleasant also strives to accomplish his own personal goals.
“I want to help my team by being more vocal and also lead the team in rebounding,” he said.
Last year, Pleasant helped his team with a total of 107 rebounds, an average of 4.1 per game, the most amongst the returners.
The returning seniors all helped Newman succeed last year in the different positions they played.
Long helped the Jets by stepping up after Wesley’s season-ending injury. Acuay led the team in scoring, averaging 14 points per game.
Mesh led the team in blocks, with a total of 19. Traylor scored 18 points against St. Edward’s and consistently filled the stat sheet.
Known for his outside shooting, Walker hit six three-pointers at last year’s home opener.
“I’m excited for conference,” Wesley said. “I’m looking forward to where I left off, with the understanding that every game before then is important.”
Wesley had 31 steals in 18 games last year before his knee injury.
The Jets will be looking to better themselves this year and will have 12 games before they host Heartland Champion Texas A&M International.
The Newman Jets open their season against Tabor College at 7 p.m. on Monday in Fugate Gymnasium.