GOODLAND, Kan — After a season of highs and lows the Northwest Tech Maverick men look for more consistency in the upcoming 2019-20 season.
Last year the Maverick men went 15-17 under first year head coach Nate Padia. Got off to a great start winning nine of their first ten games including an 82-78 win over Cowley in their first ever game as a member of the Jayhawk Conference. But after that big win, Tech would go on to lose their next eight contests before finishing out the last half of the season 6-8, with one of those wins coming against Cowley again to earn a spot in the Region Six Tournament.
“It was definitely a season of highs and lows,” said Padia. “But we knew going in it was going to be tough, going to be a grind. Top to bottom nobody is safe, anybody can beat anybody in this conference.”
The Mav’s were blessed with a real good and deep sophomore class last year that understood the grind last season. Led by Miles Gibson & Chris Freeman. Gibson was first team all Jayhawk West performer and Freeman earned honorable mention accolades.
But turning the page to 2019-20, despite having four freshman last season, not a single player is back.
“It was one thing we went and looked at, at the end of the year we wanted to change somethings. Being that is was our first year in the conference we saw what we needed and what it was going to take to win. We had to get more physical, get quicker up front, we had to get longer and athletic and that what we went out and tried to recruit,” Padia said.
This years roster is a bit younger and includes eight freshmen and five sophomores. Some of the top players expected to make impacts for the Mav’s include, Ian Hardy from Georgia. Hardy was one of the top players in the hardest league in the state of Georgia last season. Bryan Phillips Jr, a guard from Virginia will be kind of the floor general and Pierles Brown, also from Georgia, is a solid all-around player.
Sophomore Reece Warren, a transfer from the University of Jamestown who is originally from Falcon HS in Colorado Springs , will provide three point shooting and more.
Unfortunately, size will not be one of the teams strength this season with only two guys over six-foot eight in Garrett Richardson & Larontae Mormant. Both big body guys that are serviceable in and around the paint.
It will certain take some time for this team to gel and get to know each other on and off the floor, transfer guard CJ Rosser stated but he and the team are confident that they can handle the season ahead despite having no returners.
Even though having a whole new roster can be stressful Nate Padia is excited saying he’s looking forward to figuring out who this team is as a whole, as a group.
“I think in this first month especially we are really going to try and find our own identity,” says Padia. “It’s a good thing to go out and test yourself, you want to be able to see where you stand in relation to some of those teams but at the same time you do have to have some confidence.”
Mavericks will open the season this Friday & Saturday at the Open Spaces Sports Classic in Colby playing against Iowa Western & Bethany JV. Other good programs they will meet in the non-conference include: Highland, Air Force Prep, Otero JC, Trinidad State & New Mexico JC before opening Jayhawk Conference play on the road at Cowley & Coffeyville. Tech’s first home league game will not be until December 4th against Indy.
Mavericks Full 2019-20 Schedule: https://ntmavericks.com/sports/mbkb/2019-20/schedule