Men’s basketball enters season with high hopes

Mesa freshman Kaleb Palmer is expected to be a big contributor to the team this season.

Mesa Athletic Department

Mesa freshman Kaleb Palmer is expected to be a big contributor to the team this season.

Kris Haddad, Staff Writer

The Olympians have been on their toes recently after just getting edged out 69-67 in their opening game against San Bernardino College on Nov. 6.

Last year the team began with a 9-3 record which is extremely good considering who they played. However, halfway through the season the Olympians two starting players were both injured and the team suffered a seven-game losing streak. Coming into this 2014-15 season the coaches and

players both want to see a change in consistency throughout the entire season with 100 percent effort the entire year from each player. Returning players such as defender Jalen Jordan, and defender David Jones, the chance at the championship looks brighter than ever.

“We’re a solid team with a lot to work on, and every week we will become a better team than what we were the week before,” Coach Ed Helscher said. He is a well-known coach in the San Diego area from coaching many varsity high schools teams, to coaching at USD for the freshman team and also coaching as UCSD. Helscher has the experience and what it takes to bring home a championship.

Some players to look out for this year include Novian Cherry. He is a all-conference player with Division I options for his upcoming years and averaged 21 points a game last season.

In addition to Cherry another player to keep an eye out for is returning player Vincent Petties-Wilson who averaged 13 points a game last year and also has hopes of playing Division I basketball somewhere very soon.

Some freshmen to keep an eye on are redshirt freshman Dejuan Owens who is a Kearny High School graduate. Darian Huber and Kaleb Palmer also make that list.

From battling a rash of injuries last year to a long and dreadful losing streak, the team wants to make up for what happened and also know they have something to prove to the other teams.

“If they just play their game and play with a lot of pressure they should be fine,” Helscher said.

There’s tons of talent on the team that left from last season, but that was replaced with even more talent. The team needs to focus more on their defensive plays to step up their rankings from last year.

With new equipment and new weight rooms coming in, the basketball program here at Mesa will sell itself to future prospective students.

This upcoming season looks bright to the coaches and to the players. By the time the first round of playoffs comes around they are expecting to be the team they aspire to be, both on and off the court.