Eagles basketball is back and ready for action, combining veteran talent with incoming youth according to head coach Kendre Talley.
“We got a new group of guys,” Talley said. “We aim for certain things in our recruiting class to try and get a little more depth. Now, we are a more versatile team, a deeper team.”
Talley commented on how the new members have impacted the team.
“We have multiple guys that can contribute and we’ve been practicing hard,” Talley said. “We’re ready to go out and play.”
Before hosting the homecoming game, the Eagles went east and played the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricanes. Coach Talley explained the thought process behind the decision.
“Exhibition games are tricky, especially the ones where you play a Division I school,” Talley said. “But the one thing I wanted to get out of it was to show how tough we can be and just compete. We went out there, kept the game close and got some respect out of it.”
Talley also shared what the game proved to their opponents.
“We showed that we can be resilient,” Coach Talley said. “We can work hard and compete.”
Coach Talley talked about some of the team goals for the upcoming season.
“We want to make the conference tournament for sure,” Talley said. “We want to be more competitive this year, more consistent. If you align that thought process with what the guys want to do, we can do something special. Just got to put our minds to it.”
Senior Moun’Tae Edmundson showed enthusiasm heading into the season.
“I’m excited. We got a whole bunch of new guys with new talent,” Edmundson said. “This new energy has a vibe I’m excited for. It’s going to be an exciting year.”
Edmundson shared some personal goals for him, although prefacing them with the condition that the team as a whole works together and succeeds together.
“I’m trying to become defensive player of the year in the conference, maybe Lone Star conference player of the year,” Edmundson said. “But none of that can be achieved without a winning season. Our goals start with our team’s success overall. But we want to be Lone Star Conference champions.”
The night before the homecoming game, Edmundson expressed some concerns about an old injury.
“I’m anxious and excited coming off injury last year,” Edmundson said. “I didn’t get to finish the season the way I wanted to, so I’m kind of anxious but still excited about getting to be back on the court.”
Edmundson also said he looks forward to seeing how the new team members experience Oklahoma Christian basketball.
“I’m excited for the new guys who are transferring in,” Edmundson said. “They haven’t experienced an Oklahoma Christian homecoming game like I have, so I’m excited for them to get that experience. Have fun and give the crowd a good time.”
The hard work building up to the season paid off for the Eagles, as they scored over 100 points in the homecoming game against Calvary Bible.
Four separate Eagles scored double digit points in the game, including senior Moun’Tae Edmundson with 17, senior Karlyn Kenner with 13 and sophomore Shane Perales and graduate student Quinton Johnson II both scoring 11. Kenner and junior Bryce Kennedy also had game high plus/minuses (40 and 38), and freshman Steven Holland got a chance to shine after swooshing a late 3 pointer that made the entire student section amped.
The Eagle’s next game is against Black Hills State in South Dakota on Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. Their next home game will be on Nov. 18, where they will host Randal University at 3 p.m. in the Eagle’s Nest.