New faces, new goals

Photo by Krista Pylant

Photo by Krista Pylant

Krista Pylant
Sports Editor
@KristaPylant8

Cameron University basketball fans will see an abundance of new faces on the men’s basketball team this season.

Men’s Head Coach Nate Gamet announced the signing of 11 new players to the squad earlier this semester who he hopes will fill gaps in the roster after seven seniors graduated last spring.

New to the roster will be eight junior college transfers, two NCAA Division I transfers and one incoming freshman who will join the five returnees from last year’s team.

Division I transfers Bruce Baron and DJ Jackson headline the signing class.

Barron is a transfer from the University of Oregon who had two starts with the Ducks before an injury sidelined him for the season. As a high school athlete, ESPN rated Baron as a three star recruit.

Jackson hails from Oral Roberts University, where he played in 66 games and made 35 starts in two seasons with the Golden Eagles.

Players are not the only additions to the team. Former Orlando Magic assistant coach Luke Stuckey will begin his first season as the assistant coach for the Aggies. Stuckey spent the past two seasons (2012-14) with the Orlando Magic as an assistant coach who specialized in player development.

Gamet said Stuckey’s experience and knowledge has proved invaluable to the Black and Gold.

“He’s just been a good fit,” Gamet said, “and he’s transitioned into the college game, so we talk about it every day – how he’s learning new stuff about the game every single day and what he can or can’t do at this level. I’m learning some new stuff every day that he’s bringing down from that level on the offensive and defensive end, so it’s been a mix, and we look forward to having him here for a while.”

The addition of Stuckey allowed the Aggies to pick up the tempo of their game, especially with the knowledge of the pick and roll play he brings from the NBA. As a result, Gamet said he is not very concerned with the offensive capabilities of the team, but the defensive end still needs improvement and has been the focus of the preseason.

“Last year we were not a very good rebounding team,” Gamet said. “Defensively, we had to slow the pace down because we didn’t have the depth to get up and down the floor and run. This year, we’re going to have the depth to do some of that.

“Scoring? As of now, I don’t see it as a big issue. We’ve got some really talented players on the offensive end, so if we can understand what we need to do on the defensive end and take care of our business there, then this can make for a very fun, special season.”

The Cameron men officially begin their season on Nov. 14 with a home opener against Saint Gregory’s University. The following day, the Aggies return to their home court to take on USAO.

According to Gamet, hosting the season opener is an advantage for the Black and Gold who hope to give back to the home crowd by supplying a couple of wins.

“If our crowd is anything like what it’s been at these volleyball games here early in the semester,” Gamet said, “it could be great atmosphere, and hopefully we’ll supply a few wins and keep them coming back

“We’re pretty tough to beat in this gym, in this environment, when we get things rolling. We think we got a team this year that’s going to be very difficult to beat anywhere but especially at home.”

 

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