2018-19 season tips off Tuesday

Oct 29, 2018 • Athletics

The much anticipated 2018-19 Morningside College season tips off Tuesday, Oct. 30, on the Maroon and White’s home Allee Gymnasium court. 

Game details: It’s a Great Plains Athletic Conference – Heart of America Athletic Conference match-up, as Benedictine College of Atchison, Kansas, makes the northern journey to Sioux City. It’s head coach Jim Sykes’ squad’s final non-conference contest until Thanksgiving weekend, as the Great Plains Athletic Conference round robin goes into gear Saturday, November 10, with a clash at Dordt College … Tipoff is 7 p.m. with live audio, stats and video available via links at https://www.morningside.edu/athletics/.

Poll Points: Morningside College landed a spot within the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ preseason Division II top 25, released Oct. 23. The preseason GPAC favorites were placed at number four on the poll. Defending national champion Indiana Wesleyan University was listed number one followed by Indiana University – East and the College of Idaho just ahead of the Mustangs … The GPAC preseason ranking had Mside receiving 100 points and 10 first-place votes. Crosstown rival Briar Cliff University was tabbed second, earning 90 points and one first-place selection. Dakota Wesleyan University rounded out the top three (83 points).

Mustang Marks: Sykes hopes his 15thyear at the helm is characterized by one word … hunger. “At the end of last year, falling to (eventual national champion) Indiana Wesleyan, myself and the coaching staff saw hurt (from our players),” he reminisced. “It bothered our team, and it’s been something we’ve used as motivation in the off season. We have to stay hungry … not accept the success of last year … it’s never automatic. I like what we’ve seen in practice as things have been spirited. With everybody back, there’s a guy pushing the guy starting, someone else battling that person and on down the line.” … Morningside will lean on the likes of several individuals but most definitely a senior trio consisting of guard Brody Egger (Urbandale, Iowa)who has risen into 12thon the school’s all-time scoring list and is a two-time first team all-GPAC first team selection; guard Pierce Almond (Grand Island, Neb.)who ‘s seen continued solid strides since transferring into the program; and guard Andrew Semadeni (Fort Collins, Colo.) whose improved his play to the point of moving into the starting rotation last year. The Mustangs’ staff can also look to returning NAIA All-American Tyler Borchers (LeMars, Iowa)who also gained all-conference accolades in the paint last season; junior guard Alex Borchers (South Sioux City, Neb.)who joined Tyler and Brody on the loop’s top honors unit; and sophomore guard Zach Imig (Greta, Neb.)and junior forward Matt Hahn (Fremont, Neb.)who saw plenty of playing time in 2017-18.  “We need to see this group continue to improve and also get contributions from the back-up guys,” Sykes noted … “Being able to have so many young players experience what they did a year ago created cohesiveness. They accomplished so many tremendous goals including going unbeaten at home and buying into coming together for team success,” the Mustangs’ head coach continued. “Every time, the guys were together, it was fun. That’s something all of us want to continue to see.”