Featured on this year’s mens basketball roster are 11 new players, an entirely different team by head coach Joe Golding’s standards.
“It’s the Joe Golding era of basketball,” said assistant coach Brian Burton. “We’re all familiar with ACU now as a staff, so we know the league and what’s to be expected.”
The only returning letterman player from last year’s team is Desmond Woodbury, who was red-shirted last season due to injury. Also returning are walk-ons John Lewis, L.C. Alexander, and Trevor Wait.
After a long off-season of recruiting, Golding and his team of coaches are bringing in five Division I transfers, one junior college transfer, and five straight from high school.
Among the new players is Steven Werner, a senior transfer from Sam Houston State. Werner led his Division I team in rebounds last season, and was second in passing. He has the potential to be one of the best in the conference.
Elliot Llyod and Eric Lawton are also on the to-watch list. These two guards could be exactly what ACU needs to bring back a winning program.
Lawton played for Golding when he was the assistant coach at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock before accepting the head coaching job at ACU. Lloyd is transferring from the University of Northern Colorado.
Also among the transfers are Cornelius Cammock, a junior forward from Paris Junior College.
“Desmond is a really tough defensive player so we’re excited about having him back,” Burton said. “Then we’ve got Steven Werner. He’s probably has the chance to be the best five man we’ve had here since our athletic director Jared Mosely played. He’s a phenomenal passer, definitely a dominant low post presence, and he can really rebound. We expect him to be a force to be reckoned with.”
Freshman Parker Wentz has also already made an impression on the program. A recent graduate of Trinity Christian High School in Lubbock, Wentz was recognized as one of the top players in the state for the last four years.
“Parker is doing great,” Golding said. “He’s everything we thought he would be. It’s going to be a transition for Parker because he’s a freshman and college basketball is completely different than high school basketball, but we think we got a really good one in Parker abd I think he’s a tough kind and a motor that’s constantly going, and he’s the kind of kid who can affect your team.”
The Wildcats played Baylor University in an exhibition game in Waco back in October, but are looking forward to their official regular season starting this weekend.
Burton is excited to see how the new team will play together in a competitive environment now that the season is officially beginning.
It’s Golding’s first class, Burton said. “I think it’s important for people to know that since he came in last year not really knowing them.”
The Wildcats will begin their regular season on the road, as they travel to Dallas to play Dallas Baptist University on Saturday at 6 p.m.
“These guys have gelled so quickly,” Burton said. “When people watch us early on it won’t be perfect because we’re still working out the kinks, but the chemistry very high with this group, and I think that’s really important.”