California State University, Stanislaus’ men’s basketball team kicked off the season with a win over Pacifica University on Friday. The Warriors are hoping the win will set the tone for the rest of the season as they shoot for the CCAA championship with a revamped team.
Last year the team ended with an overall record of 12-15 and a conference record of 10-12. Stanislaus barely missed a spot in the CCAA Championship Tournament, finishing in a three-way tie for sixth place.
This year the Warriors have added five new players to the team to compensate for the loss of Evan Scott, their second most productive player last year. The new lineup will also be used to compliment the play of the returning Reggie Jones, the overall team leader from last year.
“He’s going to be the guy on our team that will have the target on his back and that most schools will try to stop,” head coach Larry Reynolds said. “We have to surround him with players who can put the ball in the basket.”
Jones has already made an impact this season, as he was named the CCAA men's basketball Player of the Week for the week of Nov. 14-20.
This year will also mark an offensive transition for the Warriors as they implement a brand new offensive scheme and make a shift from a larger squad to a sleeker, quicker team.
“We’re a more fast paced team this year,” Jones said. “We’re more athletic, so we’re going to try and exploit that athleticism.”
The Warriors will test their new found athleticism Friday at the FPU Thanksgiving Shootout in Fresno when they face off against Texas A&M International.
“I think they’ll be a good test for us,” Reynolds said. “They’re very experienced, they should be a very formidable opponent for us.”
The matchup should gauge the Warriors’ progress and serve as a building block towards their ultimate goal of placing in the top four of the CCAA conference and making a run for the championship.
“I really want to go out with a bang,” Jones said of his last year at Stanislaus. “It’s a top four finish or nothing.”
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