Emporia State men’s basketball looks to build 20-win season

KANSAS CITY, MO. (WIBW) – After one of their best seasons in over a decade, Emporia State’s men’s basketball team has plenty of confidence heading into the 2022-23 season.

Head Coach Craig Doty is entering his fifth year with ESU. He led the program to its first 20-win season in 15 years and a conference record for conference wins.

A proven winner in previous stops, the players are convinced and trust his message.

“For us, our focus is on how we’re going to keep this season,” Doty said. When you lose two really good scorers like we did we’re going to catch more size at those guard positions because we’re taller we should be creating some rebounding room now and we should be able to guard a lot better than we can we did. Last year.”

They lost Tray Buchanan, the nation’s top scorer last season with 25.6 points per game, and Jumah’ri Turner with an average of 19.8 points per game.

Either way, Doty says a good program will develop good players and they have to build on it, but he says they’ll be fine.

“We’re looking for guys to take the next step and take this intense responsibility and run with it and I can’t wait to see how things progress,” Doty said.

Not to mention, a few new pieces the Hornets have added like Alijah Comithier who averaged 20.4 ppg at DII Colorado Springs and Owen Long who averaged 19.3 ppg at DII Maryville, ESU filled. the holes they needed.

“We’ve added two proven scorers at this level who can instantly connect and play as impact players to go along with our nine returns, we think that’s a good formula for success,” Doty said.

For returning keeper Kaden Evans, he thinks this team will be even stronger this year.

“The nine returns definitely bring back a big cultural aspect that Lavery and Doty and the rest of the guys have built and I think that’s important for us and that’s what’s going to help defensively and offensively and everybody’s buying and trust each other,” Evans said.

Also returning big man Mayoum Buom says this ESU team has no ego and is there for a reason.

“We are above me, so be there for each other,” Buom said. “There are not many personal agendas. The main goal is to win and that’s why we’re all here, so I feel like installing that in the youngsters helps them integrate more.

“I have the impression that we move the ball a lot more. We will have more balanced scores this year,” added Buom.

Plus, Buom is ready to show Hornets fans what they got this year.

“We have a lot of clumsy guys, a lot of good personalities. I feel like off the pitch we are good guys and you will see that this year,” Buom said.

The Hornets are chosen to finish fifth and open their season with the MIAA/GAC Challenge on the road for two games, the first on Nov. 11 against Arkansas Tech.

Comments are closed.