Men’s basketball team looks to rebound in 2019

Maurice Hudson, Sports Reporter

With the 2019-20 season starting up this week, the Winona State University men’s basketball team has been adapting and preparing for the new season.

Coming off a 14-17 record (9-13 Conference) in the 2018-19 season, the team is getting prepared to “flip the script.”

From being on the cusp of going to the NSIC tournament finals, the Warriors are continuously showing their potential for the upcoming season.

Senior guard Caleb Wagner, who was an All-NSIC recipient in 2017-18 and averaged 13.9 points-per-game a year ago while appearing in all 31 games, touched on the expectations for the team and for himself.

“I mean obviously you want to get as high of recognition as you can. But I mean I’d take one in conference and making it to the win in the conference tournament, making the playoffs over anything,” Wagner said.

Despite the lack of success the team has had, Wagner is still determined to leading the team to glory.

“I mean we haven’t done that since I have been here so that kind of leads me into the team expectations,” Wagner said. “I mean personally I want to lead the team to that and as a team, I mean we definitely should be there. We have the team to do it.”

In the company of the incoming first-year players Keiron Goodwin, Alier Riak, Joel Rogers and Andrea Lo Biondo, Wagner believes it will give the team an extra boost.

“They’re all definitely ready to play and I think we have a chance that we make a run,” Wagner said.

With the new additions, the team is looking for redemption and revenge towards a handful of teams in the conference.

From Augustana and Mankato that split with the Warriors, to Moorhead and Northern State that handed the team multiple losses.

“These are must-win games for us,” junior Dalante Peyton said.

The NSIC has announced its 2019-20 men’s basketball preseason coaches’ poll, having the Warriors finishing sixth overall and third in the NSIC South standings.

The Warriors open their new season with a home exhibition against Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota on Nov. 2 before officially tipping of the year on Nov. 8 at the Central Region Challenge Tournament.

Winona State’s first official home game is slated for Nov. 13 vs. Clarke University.

Winona State begin NSIC play at Upper Iowa on Nov. 30. The first round of the NSIC Tournament is set for Feb. 26 with the remaining rounds held at the Sanford Pentagon again this season on Feb. 29-March 4.