Men’s basketball readies for season

By: Jason Rathjen

The members of the men’s basketball team started practice bright and early Monday morning on Nov. 16 at 5:50 a.m. with one thing on their minds: the road to the state playoffs. Missing out on last year’s tournament left a bad taste in their mouths, and they are ready for another shot at the title.

Head coach Ryan Schultz has good initial impressions of the 2015-16 squad. “I think we have the capability of being a very good basketball team,” Schultz said. “It’s just too early to tell, and there are so many questions to be answered.”

Schultz also sees good qualities emerging early in the team. “My initial reaction is that this team seems committed to the process of getting better and understands the necessity of working hard every day. I’m hopeful that is the case, and I’m hopeful we can sustain it.”

The Tigers will need to put in the hard work as they have a tough matchup with Iowa City West this season who is currently ranked 37th in the nation and returns all five starters from last season, including the McCaffery brothers, sons of Iowa head coach, Fran McCaffery.

But that does not bother senior guard Taylen Alexander. “We plan on trying to control what we can control and play CF basketball, and let the chips fall where they fall,” Alexander said.

The Tigers will have some weapons of their own. Six-foot-seven senior center Tra’von Fagan returns experience to the team as the primary big man. “I think I’ll be able to help the team by playing my role and just working as hard as I can,” Fagan said.

The team also returns players like sophomore AJ Green and Alexander.

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