Basketball team looks towards future.

Jimmy Pyles

Coming back from a NCAA Division II tournament loss against Kentucky Wesleyan College and a GLVC championship, the University of Southern Indiana men’s basketball team is looking forward to next season.

“Our team over-achieved this year,” head basketball coach Rodney Watson said. “This team got as much out of itself that it can possible get.”

Replacing senior guard Brandon Hogg and senior forward Isaac McClure, who combined scored 813 out of the Eagle’s 2,157 total points this season, will be one of the biggest challenges, Watson said.

 

“Our returning players have to make one to two more baskets each game,” Watson said. “I see every player in our program stepping up.”

If the team can score 75 points a game and guard well, Watson thinks the team can win a majority of its games, he said.

Austin Davis, freshman forward/guard said he expects to see big things from a few players.

“We are looking at a big year from LT (Lawrence Thomas),” Davis said. “He will be two years into (playing) so people will look to him as a veteran.”

“Also we need our juniors, becoming seniors, to step into that leadership role as in Kenyon (Smith) and Melvin (Little.)”

Watson gives every player a goal for how many points they should score in a season.

We just need to know guys scoring abilities and try not to force things, Davis said.

“When it comes time to make that jump shot or run hard in transitions to get the layup, we try not to put pressure on anyone,” Davis said. “It’s so we get better in our scoring.”

During the summer, the returning players will get their first look at the 2012 recruiting class and be able to spend time with them.

Teaching new recruits what to do and what the team expects of them is going to be a big challenge during this off-season, sophomore freshman guard Lawrence Thomas said.

“We need to mold them and teach them what we do here,” Thomas said. “We need to teach them things on and off the court about our program, and let them know that we are expected to win here.”