Tahlequah Daily Press


November 1, 2011

NSU tips off season at OU

With nearly a complete roster turnover from last year to the present, there are plenty of questions marks surrounding the Northeastern State’s men’s basketball team.

In their exhibition opener at Oklahoma on Tuesday night, the RiverHawks will have only three players available who logged time last season. So, NSU coach Larry Gipson knows his club will be challenged in every facet against the Sooners, who went 14-18 last year.

“I think we’re going to get tested in all those areas,” Gipson said of rebounding, defending and the transition game. “It still remains to be seen if we’re proficient in any of those.

“Like any preseason, we’re like the little Dutch boy with the dike: when you think you’ve got one area figured out ... it tends to slip a little bit.”

Early on this season, the RiverHawks will lean heavily on a trio of returning players, including guards, Dee Willis (5-foot-11, 160 pounds) and Ethan Anderson (6-2, 195), and forward Justin Johnson (6-7, 230). Johnson was the leading scorer of the bunch last season, averaging 9.3 points in 27 minutes per game.

“Those three guys have done a good job of training our young guys,” Gipson said. “They’re very good at practice at explaining to the new players where they’re supposed to be on offense and defense.”

Combined, Willis and Anderson didn’t even average double digits in points last season.

That’s where a slew of newcomers will enter the fold. Expected to be in the starting five with Willis, Johnson and Anderson is forward Jon Miller (6-5, 205) and guard Landon DeMasters (6-4, 200).

“I’m anxious to see how they do (Tuesday) night under the bright lights,” Gipson said of his newcomers. “...And I think Jon is the most ready to of the new guys, probably.”

With Jermaine Bransford redshirting and Terance Reaves out until January, NSU’s reserves will consist of five newcomers: Jack Miller (6-foot guard), Kevin Arnold (6-3 guard), Zach Jones (6-6 forward), John Schneider (6-7, 238-pound forward) and Christian Mack (6-foot guard).

The only freshmen on the RiverHawks’ roster, Dakota Caudill and Alex Miller (both from Claremore), are expected to redshirt and sit out the 2011-2012 campaign.

“Right now, Alex Miller and Dakota Caudill are not going to play,” Gipson said. “We’re investigating the possibility of a redshirt with them.”

Text Only

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism