A fresh beginning for men’s basketball team


Quincie Pruitt

Men’s basketball team practicing in preparation for upcoming season

A fresher men’s basketball team is headed this way, consisting of 13 freshman student-athletes, an out-of-state sophomore player to complete the veteran duo and a new head coach for the upcoming 2015-2016 season — emphasis on fresh.

However, a team predominately comprised of freshmen is not always a bad thing. A younger squad also means there are quicker legs on the court for a more aggressive playing style.

“We focus on playing a more run-and-gun style of offense,” said men’s basketball coach and Kinesiologist Professor, 31, Devin Aye. “We like to play more athletic, mobile and fast-paced compared to the team’s previous seasons.”

The Hawks had already displayed their speed at the California Community College Men’s Basketball Pre-Season Showcase at Chabot College on Sept. 25-27 during six scrimmages against other junior colleges, like Lassen College.

Aye said he likes his defense like he likes his offense: Fast.

“Our team focuses on full-court pressure, so that we can run down the court as fast as possible and not let the other team gather their defense,” said Michael Murphy, scoring guard.

In fact, the team collectively agrees that defense is their strong suit since the roster yields nine players that measure over six feet tall; two of which are above six feet and 10 inches.

“Our height does not compromise our pace one bit, because our big men are athletic enough to sprint down the court with ease, quickly strafe while on defense and are mobile enough to defend guards at the perimeter,” Aye said.    

Along with regularly scheduled practices on campus, team and individual training sessions are stressed amongst the squad so as to supplement and enhance their athleticism prior to the beginning of any practice.

“We hit the gym everyday either by ourselves or together on campus. Do plyometrics Tuesdays and Thursdays and we primarily focus on our conditioning for the upcoming season,” said Kenny Doss, scoring guard and Chicago native.

Aye continues to break the ice with his new team by putting them through rigorous training and it’s all to serve one purpose. Keep the opponents on their toes.

“We press all of the time, and on fast breaks you’ll see that we prefer to shoot the three rather than take the easy lay-up because our speed allows us to set up faster in transition,” Murphy said.

Players must be knowledgeable of their team’s strengths and weaknesses before attempting such bold actions to mark up those extra points.

“I have confidence in our team’s shooting abilities when it comes to fast breaks, and every player is tall enough to challenge and grab offensive boards if we miss — even our guards,” Doss said.

In the end, all of their efforts in the upcoming season boil down to playing “well” in the conference matches.

“In order for us to play well in conference we need to communicate and exercise effective teamwork by allowing every player to touch the ball, because anyone could be our leading scorer in a game,” Aye said.

The Hawks’ season will be crossing its way over to the courts on Nov. 9 at Feather River College in Quincy, California.