By: AUSTIN PARKS
Last year the IU South Bend Men’s Basketball team struggled mightily in what became a frustrating season that featured the Titans going 12-18. Worse yet, after a disappointing season, four seniors have since graduated leaving a big hole in the roster. Three of those seniors graduated as a part of the 1000-point club.
Looking to next season, Coach Scott Hooper needed players to help fill this void and help bring the Titans out of mediocrity.
The Titans wound up being very busy this offseason signing nine total new players to the roster, with three of those players being transfers and six of those players being incoming freshman.
The three transfers consist of Miguel Mahan, Myles Simmons and Peyton Staples. All three players give the Titans the experience that they desperately needed considering the Titans had only one senior on the roster before signing the three transfers.
With Miguel Mahan and Peyton Staples joining it gives the Titans two six-foot, seven inch forwards that will bring versatility, athleticism and size to the roster.
Coach Hooper describes Miguel Mahan as “one of the best shot blockers and rebounders in the country” saying he “should have a major impact on our defense right away”.
The addition of Mahan could play a big part in improving one of the worst defenses in the CCAC last season.
In regards to Peyton Staples, Coach Hooper says that he “has a chance to be one of the best players in the CCAC once he gets healthy”. The high praise should give Titans fans a name to watch out for.
Myles Simmons is also a versatile six-foot, three-inches guard who coach Hooper calls a “gym rat” and a “very skilled guard, who can score, make plays off the dribble, and shoot the three.”
The six freshman joining the Titans are Javan Miller, Kenny Washington, Will O’Connor, Miles Tracy, Brady Powers and Donyell Meredith.
Brady Powers is a notable member of the incoming class. Powers played for the local Saint Joseph High School Indians. As a Senior he averaged 17.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.9 steals per game while shooting 43% from three-point range. Powers also was selected as first team all conference as a senior.
Another notable freshman is six-foot, six inch wing Will O’Connor. O’Connor played for the Greenfield-Central High School Cougars. Senior year O’Connor averaged 17.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 40% from three-point range. He was also a part of the first team all conference as a Senior.
With the roster overhaul it is yet to be seen what kind of success it will bring for the Titans. Despite the uncertainties these major changes are bringing hope and excitement for Titan fans this next season.