Rams Protect Home Court

New head coach has high hopes for season

By Alana Edgin
On November 20, 2015

Photos by Summer Almaguer
Guard Napoleon Onyeje Jr. protects the ball while searching for a safe pass to his teammates. Onyeje is a transfer from North Lake College.

Basketball season has begun and the Rams are ready to charge through their competition and follow up their Sweet 16 NCAA finish even better than before with new Head Coach Cinco Boone.

Boone was the assistant coach last year and is excited for the season.

“There’s a lot more responsibility, but it’s a good thing,” Boone said. “I’m very excited and proud of the guys we have recruited in here. It’s an exciting transition and we are looking forward to finally playing somebody other than ourselves.”

Returning senior forward and tallest player at 6-foot-10 Omari Gudul Kinshasa, from Democratic Republic of Congo, has worked with Boone since he came here as a sophomore transfer from Ranger Junior College.

“Our goal is to do better than last season,”Gudul said. “I think we have the talent together and I believe we can go far this season.”

Due to a couple injuries, the whole team has only been together for one of their 22 practices, but Boone believes the team’s chemistry will be noticeable from game one.

“I consider every season a journey, so as we start off the journey we don’t talk about we want to win ‘x’ amount of games,” Boone said. “The thing that I think is important is that they protect their home court.”

Last year the Rams were 17-0 at the Junell Center, and they hope to continue their streak while striving for the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament.

“We will count on Omari Gudul, a two year starter and our biggest guy in the middle,” Boone said. “We have some Division One transfers who have played at the four year college level in Tre Bennett and Steadman Allen. They’ve got a really good shot. We have some highly talented junior college transfers in Shelton Boykin and Devonte Pratt who have showed promise early.”

Fans should watch out for the Rams’ new motion defense this season as well.

“I think they are really athletic and have learned our motion offense,” Boone said. “It’s not an easy concept and it’s a style of play that a lot of schools don’t do.”

As for this season’s rivals, Boone said Tarleton and Midwestern State, No. 1 and 2 in the preseason poll above the Rams, will be the top targets.

“We have been working on trying to attack these zones and our guys adjusting to what team’s throw at us without panicking,” Boone said. “I think we will play an exciting brand of basketball with our athleticism and the offensive prowess that we have.”

Currently, the Rams have dominated in their first three games. In the game with the Adam’s State Grizzlies on Nov. 13, the team one upped the Grizzlies with a score of 75-71. On Nov. 14, the Rams faced the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and won 106-92. Against Arlington Baptist College’s Patriots at the Rams’ first home game on Nov. 17, the Rams destroyed the Patriots with a win of 116-46. Their next game will be on Nov. 20 to defend their home court against Schreiner University’s Mountaineers at 7 p.m.

Senior Steadman Allen, transfer from Labette Community College, executes a layup, furthering the Rams’ lead against the Patriots.

Sophomore Shaquan Rhodes gets past his defender. This is his first season with the Rams and he formerly played for New Mexico Military Institute.

 

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