Men’s basketball looks to its seniors to lead the way
The Wayne State men’s basketball team will open the 2017-18 season with an exhibition game against the University of Detroit Mercy on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. at Calihan Hall. The game is being billed as the Motor City College Showdown.
The last matchup between the two ended with the Warriors pulling away for the win by six. The “City College Series” is a charitable event to help raise funds for Detroit Public Schools K-5. Sponsorship partner, Michigan First Credit Union, will match the amount of tickets sold, which are $2 per ticket.
University of Detroit Mercy Director of Athletics Robert Vowels Jr. said proceeds for the game will go towards helping DPS athletic department with resources such as uniforms and equipment.
WSU has a total of five seniors this season, three of which are returning starters, including All-GLIAC first-team forward Chuck Key, who averaged 14.5 points per game last season.
Other returning starters include Marcus Moore, who is ranked 10th in school history in assists, and Ronald Booth, who averaged 14.6 points per game last season and ranks seventh in career free throw percentage. Key, Moore and Booth accounted for nearly 60 percent of the Warriors offense last season.
“When you have a good relationship with your teammates off the court, you tend to trust them more on the court,” said Key. “And you can say things to each other without someone getting mad or thinking there’s malice intent behind it,” said Key.
The Warriors suffered an unexpected loss when redshirt junior center Tristan Wilson, who would’ve been with this senior class, tore his ACL during the team’s second practice, leaving him sidelined for the entire season.
Assistant Coach E.J. Haralson said, “He was definitely going to give us a different dynamic that we haven’t had. We’re definitely going to miss him on the court. His presence and willingness to help others is definitely appreciated.”
The Warriors will look to bring balance off the bench with newly acquired transfers Latin Davis from Youngstown State, Marquel Ingram from Bethune-Cookman and walk-on Javon Henderson who played two years at Siena Heights University.
With the new additions, the Warriors hope to strengthen a unit that went 16-10 overall last year, with a 13-8 record in conference play.
Haralson said this team should be the most mature team they’ve had in a long time.
“Those four guys, plus the guys that played limited minutes whose minutes will increase, hopefully, we’ll be able to fill that void of the guys we lost and bring a different dynamic. I think we’ll be a better small-ball team,” said Haralson.
WSU has been voted second in the GLIAC South Division going into the season in the GLIAC Preseason Poll. The overall goal of the team is to simply be better than last year and to improve on the defensive end.
Key said, “Just winning at home and protecting home court is really a big goal for me. As long as we’re getting better each game and progressing each game, you can’t really be mad with the outcome.”
WSU men’s basketball officially begins its 100th season when it hosts three teams in the GLIAC/G-MAC Challenge on Nov. 11.