The Newman University Men’s Basketball Team has added three NCAA Division I transfers with ties to Wichita to their 2015-16 roster. This year, Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mark Potter recruited junior University of Montana guard Daniel Nwosu, senior Missouri State forward Gavin Thurman, and senior University of Denver guard Jalen Love, who Potter made one of two team captains.
“I’ve never had a first-year player that I’ve decided to make captain,” Potter said.
Potter said he noticed very quickly that Love had certain leadership skills that the team could benefit from.
“One of our biggest problems is communication out on the court,” he said. “Verbal communication is one of Jalen’s biggest strengths.”
“I’ve always been the one talking on the floor. I’m just loud,” Love said.
Love was named captain alongside four-year forward Easton Julian. Potter said though it is not uncommon to have two captains, it is uncommon to have two great leaders.
Love said that although he had been a captain at DU, he never expected to fill that role at Newman.
“I honestly thought I was really going to take a back seat at first,” he said.
He said his teammates and Potter have really accepted him as a teammate and a leader, and that he and Julian work well together as co-captains.
“It seems like he’s been here for four years, instead of just a couple months, with the way his teammates respect him,” Potter said.
Potter said that while Nwosu, Thurman and Love are key additions to this years’ team, there are many players who have been at Newman for the past couple years who are just as important to the team’s success.
“We have a lot of guys stepping up,” he said.
Potter said people forget about James Pegues, who also transferred from a Div. I school his junior year.
“Andrew Berry is one of the best rebounders we’ve ever had,” Potter said. “Taylor Schieber is one of the best shooters we’ve had.”
Potter said every player, new and old, is bringing something a little different and he just needs to get them going in the right direction.
“I don’t think it’ll ever be perfect, but I try to get as close as possible,” he said.
The Men’s Basketball Team will scrimmage Hutchinson Community College at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23 in the Fugate Gymnasium.
Photo above by Hank Griggs, Photo Editor Newman Vantage