Fans will see a lot of news faces on the court for the 2017-2018 edition of Southeast Community College men's basketball team, and Head Coach Joel Wooton said it will be a challenge putting all the pieces together.
"(We) have a lot of physical talent, " Wooton explained. "But we have a lot of learning and maturing to do to be successful."
SCC returns five players from last year's squad, but added 14 new players to the mix this year.
Wooton said with so many players, it will take time to get them on the same page, but he is optimistic because of the kind of talent is coming in.
"We are more athletic, and we have more size that we have had in a while," Wooton added.
The Storm have three 6 foot 10 inch players on the roster this year.
Kouth Path (Omaha) played for SCC two years ago. He is back this year and Wooton says he is much improved.
Detallion Jackson is a sophomore from Chicago. Wooton said Jackson needs to improve his conditioning and knowledge of the game.
Ryan Clary is another big man who injured his knee on the first day of practice, so the coaches are counting on him to contribute after the winter break.
Six foot seven inch Marcus Taylor- Knighten (St. Paul, Minn.) is a sophomore that will also play a pivotal role in the front court for SCC.
Freshman point guard Kalem Hardaway, 6 foot 3 inches of Fort Worth, Texas, was singled out by Wooton as a player that has been very consistent in the preseason.
"He can really get to the rim and defend," Wooton said.
Jalen Wilkins-McCoy (Chicago, Ill.), Qua Epps (LaGrange, Ga.,), Daniel Quesenberry (Salem, Utah), Shou Nisbet (Christchurch, New Zealand), and Paneshe Dzimati (Melbourne, Australia) return from last year's squad.
Wilkins-McCoy moved from the "4" spot to the wing, and Wooton said it will take the sophomore a little time to adjust to his new position.
Quesenberry shot 40 percent from the three-point line last season, and Epps will be counted on once again to provide depth at point guard. Wooton added that Nisbet has improved since last year, and Dzimati will help SCC on defense.
The coach tempered some of the usual preseason optimism, saying that it could be a rough start to the season.
"We could struggle early with all the new faces and how demanding our schedule is," Wooton cautioned.
Some of the schools on the slate include Des Moines Area Community College, Johnson County, Northeast Community College (Division 1) and Southwestern Community College.
"We need the new freshman to step up and help provide depth," Wooton said.
The SCC men's basketball team opens up the 2017-2018 season with a home game with Hastings JV on Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Truman Center.