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Men’s basketball enters the season excited and optimistic

Sophomore+Kenneth+Cooley+leaps+to+save+the+ball+from+going+out+of+bounds+during+the+Hawks+80-62+win+against+Merced+on+Nov.+30.+
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Men’s basketball enters the season excited and optimistic

Sophomore Kenneth Cooley leaps to save the ball from going out of bounds during the Hawks 80-62 win against Merced on Nov. 30.

Sophomore Kenneth Cooley leaps to save the ball from going out of bounds during the Hawks 80-62 win against Merced on Nov. 30.

Dario Lizarraga

Sophomore Kenneth Cooley leaps to save the ball from going out of bounds during the Hawks 80-62 win against Merced on Nov. 30.

Dario Lizarraga

Dario Lizarraga

Sophomore Kenneth Cooley leaps to save the ball from going out of bounds during the Hawks 80-62 win against Merced on Nov. 30.

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The men’s basketball team suffered some unfortunate losses last season but they are ready and optimistic for this year.

Head Coach Jonathan James, who also played when he attended Cosumnes River College, believes he has a team full of stars.

“We’ll definitely be better than last year, I can say that,” said James.

James said he is excited to work with sophomore players guard Khari Hutt, forwards Paul Ohiri and Drew Buggs, who returned this season.

“It’s always good when you have guys who have already been in the system,” said James. “They know what to expect from you, and what to expect from the level of competition.”

Even with the experience of returning players, the team has had to build chemistry pretty fast this season.

“We’ve got a lot to clean up; we’re still a young team together, we haven’t played with each other that much yet but every time we play we get better,” said Buggs. “We don’t have a lot of time to create that chemistry so practice is key.”

Freshman guard Terrell Gardner said that being positive “motivating each other to keep getting better everyday” has been quickly helping them build that chemistry.

“Our guys get along well on and off the court,” said James. “We have a good group and a good cohesive unit and everybody contributes.”

Gardner and Buggs agree that the teams style is to “push the pace and run up and down the court.”

“We’re sort of an attack and get to the rack team,” Gardner added.

Assistant Coach Mat Bradley said he has his mind set to compete for the conference title and said they should have success in the playoffs.

“That is my 100 percent expectation,” said Bradley.

Assistant Coach Tony Champion added that everyone is gunning for state title because “it’s always been a goal.”

With 15 players on the roster, James said this year feels different and they’re all “super excited and optimistic for the season.”

James said the team hopes to see the support of our school this season.

“The more support we have as a team, I think the better we play; it excites the players to see the school supporting them,” said James. “We try to make our fan experience here at CRC much like a four year college, we try to bring that energy with our mascot and giveaways.”

The team hosted the 40th Annual James Clark Classic from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 but unfortunately they lost two out of three games in the tournament.

“The other two games (we lost) we were holding the ball a little two long, we were a little stiff,” said Buggs. “Towards the end we would pick it up but that’s gotta be the whole game.”

The team will play their next home game on Dec. 21, at 5:30 p.m. against Diablo Valley, which will begin their Big 8 Conference schedule.

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Men’s basketball enters the season excited and optimistic