Looking ahead: Future looks promising for JimmiesAll things considered, the Jimmie men’s basketball team’s season can be classified as a success. Record-wise, it was a bit of a rollercoaster at 15-19, but considering it ended with another trip to nationals, coach Justin Wieck was pleased with the conclusion.
By: By Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
All things considered, the Jimmie men’s basketball team’s season can be classified as a success.
Record-wise, it was a bit of a rollercoaster at 15-19, but considering it ended with another trip to nationals, coach Justin Wieck was pleased with the conclusion.
“We played our best basketball late in the season to where we beat some really good teams and got ourselves to nationals,” he said, looking back on his first season as head coach. “Clearly, there a lot of things we have to do better. All of us, players and coaches, have to improve. The summer is going to be important. We have to get better.”
With a new head coach, new assistants and several new players, nobody knew what exactly was going to transpire. Wieck got the job so late in the game that he didn’t have a chance to hand-pick any players on the roster.
They know each other now, though, and there’s a lot to look forward to next season.
The team’s top four scorers return, led by likely All-American Mark Hoge (18.5 points per game) and Davon Thomas (14.7 ppg, 6.7 rebounds per game), who also boasts All-American credentials.
Point guard Breshion Tucker came on big time late in the season and finished with nearly 300 points and over 100 assists. Taylor Newton also showed improvement from his freshman season, averaging 7.5 points per game.
Post men Dan Janu and Beny Collins also are expected back, while Bismarck Century grad Andre Maund also flashed promise as the Jimmies played a meat-grinder of a schedule. Of the Elite 8 at nationals, Jamestown College played half of them — No. 1 William Penn, No. 2 Cardinal Stritch, 10th-ranked Dordt and Dakota State (four times). Of those four, William Penn and Cardinal Stritch reached the Final 4.
Wieck also has been recruiting hard. Among the newcomers is top 35 Minnesota prep DeShawn Jones, who brings size (6-6) and athleticism.
Jared Sutherland is the lone senior on the roster, although the Grand Rapids, Minn., product will be missed. He came on strong late.
Still, there is plenty of optimism heading into the offseason.
“We feel good about the guys we have coming back, but they understand we need to improve individually and collectively as a team,” Wieck said. “The future looks bright, but at the same time we finished under .500, so we need to add some pieces.
“We need to get back to work and keep putting this thing together.”
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com