SANTEE, Calif. – The 2014-2015 Men's Basketball season will begin with a new face on the court as last year's Assistant Coach Edgar Mendez steps up to the plate as Head Coach after previous head coach, Tim Cook, resigned this past summer.
"I am looking forward to building the basketball program in a way that reflects my core values and those of SDC," Mendez said. "I will do this by instilling a culture and mindset of hard work."
The Hawks ended the 2013-14 season with an overall record of 8-16 and a 4-10 GSAC record. They reached the opening round of the GSAC Conference Tournament before being ousted by the 2014 NAIA National Champions Vanguard
With only two graduating players leaving from last year and Mendez bringing in more recruits, the roster is looking stronger than last year's.
One of these is Rafael Rodriguez who was second in points scored with 13.8 per game and averaging close to three rebounds per game. His teammate, Trevor English, was right behind him in points with 11.9 per game and led the team in total rebounds (128, 5.6 RPG). Another returner, Johan Camacho, sets out in his sophomore year in hopes to continue to lead the team in blocks as he did last year with 23.
As returners look to continue their success, Mendez and his coaching staff bring in recruits and activate red-shirts from last year that should make an immediate impact.
"Mark Eden, redshirt freshmen, will be the backup point guard this year and should contribute right away," Mendez said. Deion Davis, redshirt freshmen will battle for minutes this year and Daniel Nielsen, redshirt junior should be the first or second guard coming off the bench. He is a good scorer and could be our best shooter this year."
Other newcomers are Prince Arceneaux, a junior college transfer from Santa Barbara helps with depth at the post position and Shayne Travers, redshirt sophomore will be a utility player who could see time at the 1-4 spots and a key player off the bench.
The Hawks open up their season against NCAA Div. I Southern Utah University Saturday in an exhibition and two days later host their first home game of 2014 against Bethesda at Grossmont College. Grossmont College will be the home of most of SDC's home games with a 2-3 games at different venues.
The Hawks will test their new talent against seven NCAA Div. I schools this season. Along with Southern Utah, SDC will face Santa Clara University (Nov. 15), Loyola Marymount (Nov. 23), University of California-Santa Barbara (Dec. 19), University of San Diego (Dec. 21), San Diego State (Dec. 27), and Northern Arizona (Dec. 28).
SDC will open up GSAC play on Dec. 2 against Arizona Christian. The Hawks were predicted to finish eighth in the GSAC Coaches Poll.
MEN'S BASKETBALL COACHES' POLL
PLACE SCHOOL POINTS
1 Vanguard (5) 77
2 Hope International (2) 65
3 Arizona Christian 59
4 Concordia (1) 57
5 Biola 40
5 The Master's (1) 40
7 Westmont 39
8 San Diego Christian 16
9 William Jessup 12
(First place votes in parentheses.)
During the season, the Hawks will play a total of eight games against current NAIA Top 25 opponents or teams that are receiving votes. Those teams include last year's reigning National Champion, Vanguard, who is ranked No. 1 in the current NAIA Pre-season Top 25 Poll. Other teams are Arizona Christian (17), Hope International (10), and Concordia (RV) for two games each.
Their season will come to a close on Feb. 28 against William Jessup University in Rocklin, CA, with the last home game coming against Westmont on Feb. 21 at Grossmont.
"One of our main goals will be to come together as a group, Mendez said. "Since it is a new offensive and defensive system we have to have guys pick it up very soon. With five seniors on the team and four of which are possible starters, we look to have a competitive team. We do need to mature as a team as well as stay consistent through out the year."
To see a full breakdown of the Men's Basketball schedule, please click here.