The MIAA has announced that they will proceed with winter sports as regularly scheduled.
In a meeting on Oct. 1, the MIAA met to discuss the winter and fall sports schedules. They decided that they will proceed with winter sports as originally planned, but will not have a formal fall sports schedule until at least 2021.
For the men’s basketball team, this gives them an opportunity to build on the momentum created last year. After starting last season 4-8, the Griffons went on a tear to close out the season, going 10-2 to close out the season.
Much of the credit is due to the Griffon’s success at home. All last season, the team had a theme of protecting Looney. After going 2-9 at home in the 2018-19, Missouri Western were a staggering 12-1 in St. Joseph., defeating Central Missouri and #14 Missouri Southern in the process.
The season will also allow the Griffons to build on the team chemistry from last season. They lost two seniors: Tyus Milhollin and Beau Baker; but players like Reese Glover and Jaron Thames played pivotal roles last year coming off the bench, and will surely look to build off their impressive freshman years.
Another change will be in the head coach. After two seasons at the helm, Sundance Wicks headed home, taking an assistant coaching position at Wyoming. In steps Will Martin, who was Wicks’ assistant coach while he was at Missouri Western.
Martin brings with him a champion’s pedigree. As an undergraduate, he served as a manager for the University of Kentucky and Head Coach John Calipari. While he was a Wildcat, he reached the Elite 8 three times, won a national championship and developed a close relationship with current NBA star Anthony Davis. Although it’s his first time as a head coach, Martin is surely a worthy candidate to lead the upstart Griffons.
Likewise, the women’s basketball team will also look to build off the success from a year ago. In the first season under Candi Whitaker, the Griffons were strong out of the gate, going 21-8, a seven-game improvement.
The Griffons were led last year by the two-headed monster of Chris Wilson and Corbyn Cunningham, who combined to average 29.4 points and 15.8 rebounds a game last year. While Cunningham is still here for one last season, Wilson graduated, one of six from last year's team to graduate. This leaves the Griffons with a young, hungry team looking to prove themselves once again.
Another sport that is getting back on track is the men’s and women’s indoor track teams. Led by both 4x400 meter relay teams, both of which placed sixth at the MIAA Championships last year, the team will be looking for even better this winter.