Six new Owls joined the KSC basketball team this year, hoping for success
Administrative Executive Editor
Despite having a pack of veteran talent on the Keene State College Men’s Basketball team there are several freshmen looing to make early contributions.
The team roster features six freshmen, three of which have played in all of the team’s games so far this season. Guards Tre’ Tipton and Jesse LaCroix, and center Nate Howard have made their presence felt early in their collegiate careers.
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Before coming to KSC, Tipton said his time playing basketball at King Low Heywood Thomas Prep School really helped him prepare for the college game. “I played in a tough league, going up against guys going to big-time programs,” Tipton said. Tipton leads this year’s freshmen class with a four-point per game average and averages 16 minutes on floor-time a game. LaCroix, who also sees time in the Owls’ backcourt, averages ten minutes of playing time per game and almost three points per appearance.
The Owls also brought in big man Nate Howard to split time at center. He said how he had to adjust to the college game when he first arrived in Keene. “It’s a little different, the games faster and people are much stronger, but I think I’m used to it now, Howard said.”
The roster features four seniors and another four juniors, but despite having a large amount of talented upperclassmen, college teams always need to be on the recruiting path to find the next great player to help the team to continue to succeed. Tipton said one of the things that drew him to KSC was how persistently KSC Men’s Basketball Head Coach Rob Colbert pursued recruiting him. “Keene was definitely the most aggressive, they called me a lot,” Tipton said. I also liked how the team is run, they play a very high-tempo style.”
He also noted how genuine Colbert appeared as a coach. “Colbert just seemed really sincere, you can tell when a coach is feeding you bull, but Colbert was honest with me,” Tipton said.
Howard said he was initially attracted to KSC because of all the things the college has to offer. “I liked the school, it has a nice campus, and they have a high-level DIII basketball program,” Howard said.
As freshmen, it is important to look to the coaches and captains to find ways to improve their game. Playing against tough opponents in practice can really prepare players for in-game challenges. Howard said practicing against players like senior Rashad Wright have been a big help to him. “We have a lot of good seniors,” Howard said. “I watch them and try to copy what they do well.”
He continued, “They’ve been really helpful, helping me with plays if I have any questions.”
Tipton said Assistant Coach Steve Boudreau and senior guard Ryan Martin have been very helpful to his development as a young player. “They’re honest with me when I need to work on something, but they’re always encouraging me as well.”
Tipton said playing alongside other talented players, like senior Ryan Martin, pushes him to improve. “It’s great for me, I get better every day,” Tipton said. “I think he [Martin] is the best guard in the LEC, so I get a break in games when I get to guard someone else.”
Both Tipton and Howard noted how they’ve seen the most improvement in the defensive aspect of their games. “Team defense, they coach it really well here,” Howard said.
Only time will tell how the newest additions to the Owls will continue to improve and expand their rolls on the court.
While the team is lead by a deep group of upperclassmen this season, it is important for the young players to make strides now so they will be ready to take over the team in a year or two when this freshmen class becomes the core of the team’s upperclassmen.
Ryan Glavey can be contacted