Men’s basketball ready to face SPU

Freshman+Cameron+Williams+rises+over+the+Wolves%27+defense+in+Saturday%27s+win.
Freshman Cameron Williams rises over the Wolves' defense in Saturday's win.

Freshman Cameron Williams rises over the Wolves' defense in Saturday's win.

James Stuck

James Stuck

Freshman Cameron Williams rises over the Wolves' defense in Saturday's win.

Hanson Lee, Staff Reporter

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James Stuck
Freshman Cameron Williams rises over the Wolves’ defense in Saturday’s win.

CWU men’s basketball looks to capitalize on a home court advantage when they face Seattle Pacific University (SPU) Saturday, Dec. 2.

“We’re actually looking pretty good,” assistant coach Drew Harris said. “I think we’re better off with our defensive rebounding than we were at this point last year.”

Harris is confident in the team’s progression so far this season, but knows there is still work to be done.

“We want to continue to take steps defensively each day and I think we’ve been doing that,” Harris said.

Last year, SPU parted ways with coach Ryan Looney and hired Grant Leep who had previously been the assistant coach for the past seven seasons before taking on his new role.

Leep “has been implementing a new offense,” Harris said. “We just gotta continue to scout them to continue to see what their offense is looking like this year and then go from there.”

It’s also critical that the younger players on the team, primarily the freshmen, are able to step up and help the team when needed.

“The younger guys just got to be ready when their number’s called,” Harris said. “At this level, whoever’s ready is going to play, whether it’s a freshman or a senior. Our young guys have been playing well so hopefully they will continue to grow and make an impact on the floor.”

Junior point guard Naim Ladd talked about the team goals going into this matchup and what they should expect to do as a team if they want to come out on top.

“One of the biggest things is to play our game and play at a certain pace,” Ladd said. “I think with them, they’re a very good team on crashing the boards, so if we box them out and just rebound and push the ball we should be perfectly fine.”

Ladd, who is going into his third year on the team, is looking to use his experience to his advantage.

“I’m just trying to lead the team and be a veteran for the younger guys,” Ladd said. “Playing against SPU this year, I feel like it’s going to be a great experience in just leading my team to get the victory.”

As the team’s starting point guard, Ladd talked about the importance of controlling the floor and getting his teammates involved.

“Ninety percent of the time, I’m the smallest guy on the court, so it’s just playing with pride and heart and just playing my game,” Ladd said. “I feel like if I get the right guys into spots and they get me into spots… we should be fine as a team.”

Additionally, Ladd talked about some of the improvements that need to be made as a team in preparation for SPU.

“I feel like [our bigs] don’t get a lot of paint touches, so I feel like if we get our bigs the ball more down the road that will probably open up a lot for us too, for the guards and everybody else,” Ladd said. “If we just feed the post more… that’ll be one of the big things that will help us on the offensive end.”

Senior center, Fuquan Niles, also talked about the impact that he needs to have on his team going into this matchup against SPU.

“I know I’m one of the bigger people, so I gotta be dominant, whether it’s the offensive side or the defensive side. I have to bring it every time,” Niles said. “I have no time to slack off; if I do then I could cost my team.”

Niles explained the mindset that both him and his team need to have if they want to have a good shot in their game against SPU.

“For myself, just being prepared that every call may not go my way because most teams are going to try and get me in foul trouble,” Niles said. “As a team we just need to bring it together and know what we need to do as individuals, and then bring it together as a team.”

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Men’s basketball ready to face SPU