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Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

Wofford basketball previews season with homecoming weekend scrimmage

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By: Sarah Madden, Senior Writer

Wofford men’s basketball team held an open practice scrimmage in the Benjamin Johnson Arena on Saturday, Oct. 22, homecoming weekend, as a way to preview the season. It was the first opportunity for fans to see the team in action, displaying a new team that head coach Mike Young has called a “seismic shift in personnel, with a bunch of new faces.”

This year’s team includes six freshmen players, something that Wofford has not seen in “quite some time,” according to Young, who spoke on camera to Todd Shanesy, sports writer for the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, during the SoCon tip-off weekend:

“They’re all off to good starts, but we’ve got a long way to go in terms of the pace of the game, the speed and the physicality… but I like what they bring to our program.”

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Junior Cameron Jackson, who sat last season out due to injury, echoes Young’s caution that the team is not yet ready:

“We still have a long way to go… luckily we still have three more weeks until we play our first game. I’m excited by how the scrimmage went,” he says. “We had some people step up… [forwards] Ryan Sawvell, senior, and Dishon Lowery, freshman, did a lot as well.”

For Jackson, it means a lot just to be on the court. “I am just excited to be back on the floor trying to make an impact and help our team win games,” he says.

Fletcher Magee, sophomore guard, sat out due to injury, and it is unclear when he is expected to play.

Senior guard Eric Garcia says that while he’s looking forward to every game this season, he’s particularly excited to play in his home state, Colorado, in late November. “I get to go home for the first time and play out there. It will be awesome to have family and friends at the game,” he says.

Garcia also believes the team has a lot of work to do in the next three weeks:

“I was proud of everyone on the team… I think the scrimmage went well. We know we still have things to work on, so we have to get better every single day in practice,” he says. “Terrier fans should watch for a team that plays as a team and plays hard every single night out there.”

Multiple basketball alumni attended the event, including Spencer Collins ’16. He says that the team looks good, but will depend on its new players to step up.

“I was impressed with the freshmen… they have so much talent and will contribute to a great program under Coach Young,” he says. “They have a great chance to come out with a huge non-conference win against LSU on Nov. 12 if they continue to develop and get better each day at practice.”

Collins says that the team is strong in leadership—many players have significant experience on the court in the past few seasons—and he sees that leadership in action:

“Eric Garcia played extremely well and you can tell he’s worked on his game this summer, as well as Cam, Ryan, Derrick, Trevor, Jaylen, Fletcher, and Matt… If the freshmen step up this season and the team is solid on defense, they can contend for a Southern Conference Championship.”

In reflecting on the experience of coming back to Wofford as an alumnus, Collins hopes he can inspire his former teammates.

“For the seniors who have one semester left, enjoy your last few moments at Wofford… this place is so special. Make every moment worth it,” he says. “Keep your head up! Continue to have a great attitude because your hard work will pay off! It is such an amazing feeling to walk across that stage with your degree.”

He adds, “Life after graduation is not as bad as everyone makes it seems. I’m currently coaching back home in Easley, working with youth in the sport of basketball.”

Collins says that his original plan of playing professional basketball has not come to fruition yet, but he is persevering. He says Wofford has prepared him for “having a total backup plan in life.”

 

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  • J

    JBNov 7, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Look forward to seeing this team compete and improve.