SWOSU Men's Basketball Update
Updated: Sep 10
By Greydon Buhlig
The Bulldog Men’s Basketball Team began non-contact practice on Monday, Aug. 24. This was their first meeting since the ending of last season seven months ago. Head coach of the team, Terry Evans, had a few words to say about the first week back.
“It's been tough. Unusual situations, unusual times, having to start workouts with masks on…” Evans said. “We are happy just to be alive and be participating right now.”
The team finished with a much-improved record of 13-15 last year. That doesn’t seem all that great, but if you have payed attention to the men’s team in recent years, you know how big last season was. Evans is in his second year of coaching here at Southwestern with an overall record of 18-38.
Returning after a standout year for the Dawgs last season is Damion Thornton. He had this to say about his quarantine summer.
“It’s been [real] rough, but all glory to God that we are all still here," Thornton replied.
Thornton is coming off a great sophomore campaign, averaging 19.8 points per game, shooting 50.6% from the field, leading the team in rebounds per game with 8.3, and then snagging 1.9 steals per game as well. Thornton was also crowned the Great American Conference’s Newcomer of the Year. Look for him to lead this team to even more in his second year at SWOSU.
Last season was cut short for a lot of juniors and seniors due to COVID-19. One of those players is Jaylan Williams, a second-year senior forward for the Dawgs. Here is what Williams had to say about last season.
“Last year we had a lot of ups and downs, but we were pretty much a new team. We have a lot of returners," Williams said. “I feel like we can bounce back from what we did last year and learn from that, and make a lot of progress for this next season.”
Williams had a decent year, averaging 10.4 points per game, led the team in three-pointers made last season and shot 37.9% from beyond the three-point line. He told me he is wanting to bring more wins and more recognition to SWOSU and the basketball team in his senior season.
The team practiced yesterday afternoon, and it was different. Non-contact, separate basketballs, and very little close-quarter interactions between the coaches and players. Overall, it was a very unconventional practice, with even Evans eluding to the fact that he had never seen a basketball practice with masks.
The men's team hopes to play in the spring, and they will not be able to practice during the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks as campus will be closed. Evans fears that the practicing and improvement that they do now now will be lost in January, but he is thankful to be out there on the court with his team.