A strong performance from transfer players creates a positive outlook for upcoming season
Despite Humboldt County awaiting a blackout on Saturday, Jacks’ basketball made sure to keep the energy high on Friday night.
The blackout forced Humboldt State Athletics to move its volleyball game to the same time as the scheduled basketball game, which meant the Jacks had to play in the East Gym.
During the last few months, HSU men’s basketball added three Division I transfers to its arsenal. Compton, CA natives Raysean Scott Jr. (Florida Gulf Coast University), Leland Green (University of Hawaii) and Rob Lewis’ (Texas Southern University) combined efforts impact the game in a way the Jacks have missed for a while.
Strategies issued by Head Coach Steve Kinder and Assistant Coach Rich Mendoza helped the Jacks focus on teamwork while capitalizing on opportunities to push points past Simpson.
It’s not surprising for me, I knew from the recruitment trail last spring that we were onto some very talented players.Steve Kinder
“It’s not surprising for me, I knew from the recruitment trail last spring that we were onto some very talented players,” Kinder said. “The players were remarkable and created a memorable environment for those in attendance.”
The Jacks started off strong as guard Isaiah Pope found the net seconds after the first whistle. It wasn’t long before Simpson gave up their first foul and Jacks’ forward Raysean Scott Jr. capitalized on a free throw opportunity.
Simpson began executing defensive plays against the Jacks as they attempted to find their place on the scoreboard, but it was met with resistance as the Jacks responded with chemistry between Scott Jr. and point guard Amari Green.
The second half for the Jacks resulted in an increase of player activity and passing chemistry. HSU took another lead over Simpson as the battle for possession continued. The Jacks finished strong and concluded the exhibition game with a final score of 88-70.
Kinder reflected on the importance of the East Gym and the impact it had on his coaching career with HSU basketball.
“That East Gym experience today goes back to the good old days,” Kinder said. “It was the first time we have [played] there since the 2007 season, and to be back in there was quite a moment.”
Despite the sudden change of venues, Kinder and his team were not impacted as the East Gym is a consistent training place.
“We’ve held practices in there all year, so we felt like it was a road game for us,” Kinder said.
Men’s basketball will hold one more exhibition game at Lumberjack Arena on November 5 against Southern Oregon University before hitting the road for an away game against Point Loma on November 8.