The men’s basketball team will enter the upcoming season with only a handful of players that have experience on the Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium’s hardwood floor.
The Lancers will be without some key pieces of last season’s team. Sophomore guard Dejon Williams was a large part of the team’s offense and averaged 15 points per game shooting 41 percent from the field, but he won’t return.
“We are hoping some of these newcomers that we have step up to the plate,” head coach Michael Swanegan said. “They aren’t game-tested yet … Out of 15 people we have 12 freshmen.”
Guard Jonathan Henderson and center Faruk Oyalade both played their last season of eligibility last season averaging 14 points and 7 points per game, respectively.
Pasadena ended last season early with a losing record of 12-15 but were 4-4 against conference opponents.
Conference opponent ELAC finished the season as runner-ups to Saddleback College. ELAC was also second in the conference to Mt. SAC, who lost only two games last season to non-conference opponents. The Huskies were the unlikely ones to make it out of the difficult South Coast Conference.
Head coach Michael Swanegan says that the conference is filled with good teams that have reached at least the semifinals in the last three years. Nonetheless, they are more ready than ever.
“We’re just hoping they get the feel of the game early and be able to help us do some things we plan to accomplish this year,” Swanegan said. “Our conference is very strong in terms of depth of the teams and it just shows you the strength of our schedule. I think during the course of the conference, it’s going to be very competitive.”
Sophomore forward Darrell Childs, a transfer from LA Trade Tech who didn’t play last season, is a very vocal player on the court. Swanegan looks to him, along with their other experienced players, to motivate this freshman-filled roster.
Freshman guard Todd Barnes is good piece for the Lancers and teammates speak highly of him.
“Everyone has been working pretty hard,” Barnes said. “We are trying to get into a good groove where everything flows correctly by the time we get into our season. So far everything is working out pretty well.”
The Lancers averaged 17.7 turnovers per game and the biggest fix for them would have to be reducing that average from last season.
Freshman point guard Jonathan Ly is willing to do what it takes to help his team win. He was showing good court vision at practice.
“I think we are good right now,” Ly said. “We are just trying to make sure everyone is in the right spots and trying to memorize these plays. We have to stay healthy too. Defensively, I think we are getting better.”
The Lancers start their season on Thursday Nov. 5 in the Ventura Tournament at Ventura College for the weekend.