The wraps will come off both Chadron State College basketball teams this weekend when they tangle with teams from Texas.
The Chadron State women will be hosting Texas A&M International from Laredo on Friday night and Texas A&M-Kingsville on Saturday night. Both contests will tip off at 5:30 in the Chicoine Center.
The CSC men will be playing at those schools deep in southern Texas the same days. The Friday game at Larado will be at 6 (CST) and the Saturday contest in Kingsville at 1 p.m.
Both double-headers are called “conference challenges” by the NCAA. The Texas teams are in the same South Central Region as the Eagles. International belongs to the Heartland Conference and Kingsville is in the Lone Star Conference.
The CSC coaches, although doing their best to bone up on the weekend rivals, have mostly been trying to figure out their own teams. Both rosters are shy of veterans and will depend heavily on newcomers.
Men’s coach Houston Reed said his probable starters are senior Darius Polley, last year’s top player, sophomore letterman Micheal Johnson, transfers Jaisean Jackson and Jeremy Ruffin and freshman Dru Kuxhausen, the ex-Scottsbluff standout.
Reed said frosh Walker Andrew and lettermen Leigh Saffin, the junior from Australia, and Vonsinh Sayaloune, the sophomore from Chadron, will likely be the first players off the bench. He added that transfer Jordan Mills, a native of Alliance, also figures prominently in the plans, but has been slowed by a knee injury much of the preseason and may see only limited action this weekend.
Another freshman, Eric Jamerman of Douglas, Wyo., is also slated to play. The remaining three freshman are expected to redshirt and transfer Adoum Mbang, the team’s only true center, has been in his native Camaroon the past few weeks for what Reed has described as “king training” because his family is in the political hierarchy in their country. He is due to return to Chadron this weekend.
The coach added that Mbang has made arrangements to complete his courses this semester and retrain his eligibility.
The CSC women played an exhibition game last Friday night at the University of Wyoming. Coach Janet Raymer said that although the Lady Eagles were overwhelmed on the scoreboard (see separate story) they played good defense and ran the offense well much of the time.
“We just couldn’t shoot,” she noted. “We’re young and have lots to learn, but we’re getting better with every practice.”
The Texas A&M International women won just two games last season and “are in about the same position we’re in, it seems,” Raymer said. The Kingsville Javelinas are expected to be a stronger team. They were 14-14 last season.
Reed said the International men’s team has 12 new players this year after winning the Heartland Conference championship last season but graduating nearly everyone. He called Kingsville “really good,” noting that it defeated Division I Corpus Christi in overtime during an exhibition game last week.
Playing these games will show us what we need to do to get better,” Reed stated.