They have fresh faces and a bundle of combo guards to move the ball. Coach Brett Weiberg has made it known that he wants his team to outwork their opponent on every possession.
The unique thing about this roster is that every player is buying into the aggressive mindset of coach Weiberg.
“Our guys have been working really hard,” Weiberg said. “We’re going to play for Missouri Western, we’re going to play for St. Joseph, and we’re going to play for the fans.”
Western has added size, speed and a fair amount of solid perimeter shooters as well. Cedric Clinckscales and Dzenan Mrkaljevic are two returners and look to add some experience to the front court.
Clinckscales led the team in scoring last year with an average of 13.3 points a game. He led the team in nine other categories including rebounding.
Also returning are combo guards Adarius Fulton and Kalvin Balque, who will share minutes with some of the new guards added to the roster.
Fulton made his impact on offensive side last year, but made an even bigger impact on the defensive side of the ball. He led the team with 50 total steals and averaged 2.1 a game.
Balque started out slow, but quickly developed into key player for the Griffons a year ago. He became a scoring threat and even a crowd pleaser with his impressive vertical ability.
Cortrez Colbert is a native of Spencer, Okla, and will add to an already dynamic guard combo.
Colbert said that he feels that they have enough talent to dominant on both sides of the ball.
“I feel that this season is going to go pretty good,” Colbert said. “We got a lot of talented players, players that can make plays and be good on the defensive end.”
With so many new players, chemistry starts to play part when the season starts to pick up, and Colbert is well aware of it.
“We got a lot of depth,” Colbert said. “We can spread the floor out. We have a lot of shooters and we got a lot of players who can get to the rim and make plays.”
Colbert noted that he was excited to play with fellow guard Ryan Devers, who is also a native of Oklahoma and brings athleticism to both sides of the ball.
Devers said that his ultimate goal is being the last team standing in the MIAA.
“We want to try and make to the national championship,” Devers said. “And win the MIAA. I am fitting in pretty well with all of the players.”
Devers also praised Coach Weiberg for putting the team in the right direction.
“He is doing an excellent job with us,” Devers said. “He is being patient and he is not rushing anything. Even little things, like making us sprint back or making sure we never give up on a play.”
Devers also mentioned that he was excited to play with Colbert because he respects the way he plays. There is a strong possibility that we could see them on the court together a lot this season.
The Griffons will play their fourth regular season game on Friday, Nov. 15 against William Jewell College. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.