Nov 01, 2018

2018-19 Men's Basketball Season Preview

A Winning Tradition

 
  • Three NAIA National Tournaments (1973, 1990, 1992)
  • Two NAIA District Championship (1973, 1990)
  • 22 NAIA District Tournaments
  • Three NAIA Top 25 National Rankings (1990, 1991, 1992)
  • Four Northwest Conference Tournaments (1997-1998, 2009-2010, 2012-2013, 2016-17)
  • Two Cascade Conference Tournaments (1994, 1995)
  • Two NCCAA National Tournaments (1985, 1987)
  • Seven NCCAA Regional Tournaments (1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988)
  • One NCCAA National Coach of the Year
  • Three NAIA District Coaches of the Year
  • Two Northwest Conference Coaches of the Year
  • 17 All-Americans
  • Three NBA Draft Picks  
 

By: Jake Bienvenue

NEWBERG --- The George Fox men's basketball team returns older, more mature, and ready for the 2018-2019 season.

With eight roster spots filled by sophomores and juniors, the Bruins will roll out a group neither too-young nor too-old. This is a group that has played together before, and to head coach Maco Hamilton, the unique balance of youth and experience is different than in previous years.

"We have a very like-minded team," said Hamilton, "Great chemistry. Players have been working hard in the offseason."

The players will have the chance to test their offseason work under the leadership of the two seniors, Dylan Hamlett and Mason Green-Richards. Hamlett was a force in the paint last year, leading George Fox in rebounds per game (7.2) and blocks per game (1.1). He was top-five in the Northwest Conference in both areas. Green-Richards was a spark plug for the offense, averaging 20.8 points per game while shooting a lights-out 44.3% from beyond the arc. He finished second in the Northwest Conference in points per game, earning him a selection on the All-NWC second-team.

The Bruins also return Ryan Lacey, Jackson Januik, Kevin Dent, Levi Dalzell, Michael Mercado-Smith and JD Ahlstrom. Lacey, who played and started in every game for the Bruins last season looks to be a major factor for the Bruins going forward. 

As for the newcomers, the Bruins bolstered their depth on the wing this offseason, adding Seattle Prep's Kalu Stricklin to the George Fox offensive arsenal. Quinn Lacey, also hailing from Washington, rounds out the group of incoming freshmen. Although the 2018 recruiting class is small, Hamilton is excited about the additions to the team. The Bruins also welcome two transfers: Brandon Porter and Wesley Reynolds. Porter comes to George Fox after spending two seasons at Walla Walla Community College, while Reynolds joins the team after two seasons at South Puget Sound Community College. 

With a dynamic mix of shooting and athleticism, the Bruins are going to look to continue to play the brand of basketball which fans love and defenses hate.

"We're gonna play fast and put pressure on both ends of the floor," said Hamilton. "We go to our motto: just sprint."

The Bruins' high-speed offense will run up against some stiff competition this year. They open their season with an exhibition against NCAA Division II opponent Central Washington University, kicking off a schedule which includes nationally-ranked conference rivals in Whitman and Whitworth, as well as a home matchup against defending national champion Nebraska Wesleyan.

Even in the face of a "purposefully challenging" schedule, Hamilton expressed confidence in the team and the type of basketball he feels they are capable of.

"Compete to the best of our abilities every single day," said Hamilton about some of the expectations surrounding this season. "If we do that, everything will take care of itself."

The Bruins kick off their season with an exhibition matchup against Central Washington on Saturday, November 3 before hosting Whittier for the home opener on Friday, November 16.

To see the full schedule click here. To see the full roster click here.