Highlander Basketball: Year in Review
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Highlander Basketball: Year in Review

The exit of UC Riverside women’s basketball from the Women’s Countrywide Invitation Event (WNIT) final week concluded the year as a entire for each the men’s and women’s team. With the period now around and the software hunting toward next year, both of those men’s and women’s teams will be a lot more than pleased with how their seasons went given their expectations at the starting of the time.

Starting up with the women’s crew, coming into the year they ended up slated to finish 10th in the Significant West conference according to the preseason poll, but defied all expectations by ending 18-13 and earning the 3rd seed in the meeting occur time for the Major West Tournament. 

This earned them a bye in the Major West Event and a matchup with Extensive Beach Point out in the quarter-finals. Unfortunately for the group, they had been eradicated in heartbreaking fashion, falling in time beyond regulation 83-75 following battling a near one particular from the Beach front.

Inspite of the decline in the meeting tournament, the Highlanders were selected to engage in in the WNIT, the next most prestigious event in NCAA basketball right after March Madness. 

Matehya Bryant &#8212 courtesy of UCR Athletics

The Highlanders have been led by seniors Jordan Webster and Matehya Bryant, who attained four Major West honors concerning them. Interim head mentor, Brad Langston, led the application to a 12-match turnaround from last season’s document. This marks the greatest turnaround in the program’s background, and it would be exceptionally clever to make Langston the lasting appointment. 

With numerous critical players leaving the up coming action seems to be a rebuild as a result of recruitment. The system is in a very good posture to create offered the improving culture set by Mentor Langston and the enhancement of other crucial players this sort of as Makayla Jackson.

On the men’s side of the program, anticipations were being also very low coming into the time supplied the reduction of the program’s 3 greatest four best players the past year. Flynn Cameron, Zyon Pullin, Lachlan Olbrich and Jamal Hartwell II all remaining the application possibly via transfer, graduation or turning specialist. Presented the reduction of these critical gamers, the purpose should really have been to build their young expertise on the lookout to establish for the future seasons. 

The average expectation would have been a in the vicinity of bottom of the meeting complete for the Highlanders, on the other hand, that turned out to be a way also reduced expectation as the Highlanders completed tied with the fifth-ideal file in the convention with a 10-10 history and acquired the 5th seed in the convention match. 

After beating CSU Bakersfield in the initial round of the Significant West Match in Henderson, Nevada, the Men’s group ultimately lost to eventual event winners Extensive Seaside Condition in the quarter-finals. Even with the decline, the season went way greater than envisioned for the Highlanders led by freshman Barrington Hargress.

Barrington Hargress &#8212 courtesy of UCR Athletics

Hargress came absent from the period and Big West freshman of the 12 months and a finalist for the Kyle Macy Award for the ideal freshman in the entirety of Division I. Hargress and transfer teammate Isaiah Moses were the two also attained honorable mentions for convention teams. 

Nate Pickens &#8212 courtesy of UCR Athletics

The period also included large strides in enhancement for Nate Pickens, Niyi Olabode, Kaleb Smith and Ben Griscti. Ought to the Highlanders be in a position to go on the growth of their players in the offseason as well as recruit impactfully in the transfer portal they will be in a terrific put to boost their history and develop toward a likely bid in March Madness.

The basketball software is in a good position to create on an overachieving year, constructing a wonderful society less than Athletic Director Wesley Mallette as has been done with a great deal of the other packages.  

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