The men’s basketball team will be travels to Incarnate Word Thursday night for the second game of a three game road trip.
The Wildcats are 2-5 against Southland teams and sit last in the conference with a 8-10 overall record while Incarnate Word is in 7th, looking to get to .500 in conference play as they hold a 3-4 record with an 8-10 overall record.
With a win, the Wildcats can still contend for a higher placing in the conference and could be tied for as high 7th place, depending on outcomes of other Southland games.
“I really like our team. I’ve enjoyed coaching this team; we have great kids,” said head coach Joe Golding. “The thing we’re battling right now is consistency, and I think we’re very young. We’ve been blown out twice this season, but besides that we’ve been in every game.”
The men became a much younger team as they parted ways with its only senior on the roster, Jovan Crnic, in the middle of the season. In fact, with Crnic dismissal the team will be left with no seniors.
Crinic was averaging eight points per game, three assists per game, and 2.5 rebounds per game before being released from the team.
“We wish Jovan the best,” said Golding. “We have a young locker room and are big on the culture of this program and just made the decision to move in a different direction.”
Heading into the game against Incarnate Word, sophomore guard Jaren Lewis continues to lead the team in points averaging 14.3 per game.
Lewis also leads in rebounds, averaging seven per game, while sophomore point guard Jaylen Franklin still leads the team in assists per game with 3.3.
“I think we’re just continuing to trust the process,” Golding said. “Sometimes I think we take shortcuts for instant success, and it doesn’t build any foundation for the future, so we’re continuing to coach this team up and sooner or later we’ll get on a run and keep going.”
For Incarnate Word, junior guard Shawn Johnson is the team leader in points per game with 15.2.
Johnson also leads his team in rebounds per game with 7.2 while junior guard Jalin Hart leads his team in assists averaging 4.8 per game.
“Every game means something, and we need to get one on the road,” said sophomore forward Hayden Howell. “There is also a little extra heat with us and Incarnate Word. They beat us last year.”
The game will tip off at 8 p.m., following the women’s game at 5:30 p.m. The game can be heard on the radio at 98.1 FM.