Though not starting the season with typical Cru domination like years past, the UMHB men’s basketball team is gaining momentum. With an overall record of 12-5, the Cru has struggled at times with a relatively young team
Returning for another season for the team is senior graphic design major Reshaud Jackson. He plays point guard and off guard for the Crusaders and says the hardest thing about this year is the team becoming unified.
“The toughest part about having all the new players is getting in sync with each other and playing together. Most teams have a bunch of guys that have been playing together for a few years, but we don’t have that,” he said.
“We have to work on trusting each other on the court and learning what each
other do best,” Jackson said.
Despite the few bumps in the season, key player for the team Dean Pele truly believes their playing has turned around for the better. Pele is a junior shooting guard and small forward for the Cru and has had some outstanding games, even being named player of the week by the American Southwest Conference at the beginning of the season.
“I think right now we’re playing the best ball of the year,” he said. “We’re kind of disappointed on how we have played in a few of our conference losses. Overall, I would say we’re pleased, but know that we need to pick it up the second half of the season.”
Along with needing to play better with each other, Jackson thinks one of the
issues is the fans and not having them over Christmas break games.
“I’d say it’s a little tougher to play over the break without the crowd. We love our fans,” he said. “The crowd gives us energy on the court, and the teams hate to come here to play because of our heckling Cru crowd.”
Head Coach Ken De-Weese has been with the team many years and agrees
with Jackson about the lack of students during the holidays.
“Most college basketball teams must deal with that, and, yes, it is extremely difficult to get excited about playing when the Couch Cru and the rest of the students are not here,” he said. “Our students are so supportive that it is a very significant difference and I am so proud of that.”