Rangers men’s basketball season preview

BRAEDEN RUSSELL|russe032@rangers.uwp.edu

BB1Season in Review  

Last year the 4 time GLVC champion UW-Parkside Men’s Basketball team once again had a strong showing. The Rangers finished the regular season with a record of 21-6 including a 15 game win streak after losing their first game of the season. They proceeded to make it to the GLVC Tournament in Evansville Indiana where they beat Indianapolis in the first game 97-82 behind 26 points from Jake Verhagen. They then lost to Bellarmine who would go on to win the GLVC 68-79. Parkside also made its 5th straight NCAA Tournament appearance where they once again played Bellarmine and once again lost this time by a score of 61-72. The Rangers finished the season with an overall record of 22-8.

Player losses  

The Rangers lost three starters from last years team. Jake Verhagen who averaged 10.9 points, 3.7 rebounds per game, and averaged 38.6% from the 3 point line, graduated. They also lost starter Alec Brown to graduation who averaged 53.2% from the field, lead the team with 16.5 points per game, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. The Rangers also lost starting point guard Kendale McCullum to transfer. McCullum transferred to Lewis University. McCullum was the leader of the team averaging 15.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game.

Upcoming season  

Parkside will open their campaign with with a game against Michigan Tech on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 5 p.m. followed by Northern Michigan on Sunday, Nov. 12 in Houghton, Mich.  “We have so many new faces and young players that we are about to throw right in the fire,” head coach Luke Reigel said. “This weekend, we want to see progress. We have a lot of players that now have the opportunity to show what they can do and we want to see what they are fully capable of.”

Reigel’s squad is composed of three seniors in Jameel Moore, Chavares Flanigan and Espen Fjaerestad. Along with these seniors, three juniors, two sophomores and six freshmen round out the roster.

“We have a lot of players that have been a part of a lot of wins in their careers,” Reigel added. “One person that we’re really looking at to not only be productive on the floor, but to be a leader to the younger guys as a senior is Espen (Fjaerestad).” Espen who only averaged 3.3 points per game had a great game in the GLVC Tournament against Bellarmine where he put up 19 points including five of eight from the three point line and four of five from the free throw line. The Rangers season will be affected by the GLVC postseason ban but they will be able to use this season to help get their young squad some experience and get ready for their first season in the GLIAC next year.

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