In any sport, the success of the team often depends on the health and availability of its players. Heading into the 2019 men’s basketball campaign with much excitement, the San Diego Mesa College men’s basketball team has more questions than answers.
“We’ve been dealing with some injuries early in the season,’ states head coach Travis Nichols. “Two of our returning all-conference players are battling through some injuries and their productivity is missed. Although one has returned to action, we are being cautious and bringing him slowly. They will both need a little time to get in the rhythm of things.”
The team is currently 1-3 having played all four games on the road. The team opened with back to back losses to Saddleback College (78-62) and Fullerton College (89-61). Their first victory came against a gritty win against El Camino College 72- 61 and then fell to Cypress College 82-60.
With a solid core of returning players, the coaching staff is still interchanging the combination of players on the court. “We have a lot of really good puzzle pieces, putting them all together is our challenge,” states Nichols. “We need to figure out our team chemistry and create more defensive intensity that championship teams have. We’ll get there, it’s all just part of the process.”
One pleasant surprise has been the play of freshman Jamaal Wright out of Land O’ Lakes Florida. Wright currently leads the team in points per game (9.8), rebounds per game (5.5), and field goal percentage (60%).
“Jamaal has been solid for the entire team,” explains Nichols. “He is a great young player and leads by example on how hard he works both off and on the court. We have an impressive group of young guards, and once we get all our cylinders firing, we will be hard to beat.”
The men will play their first home game of the year on Thursday, November 21 against a solid College of the Desert squad who is currently 4-2. Game is scheduled for a 5:00 p.m. start.