Men’s basketball second in preseason roster

By Mike Hantho, Staff Writer

EWU men’s basketball was recently ranked second out of twelve in the preseason by a panel of coaches in the Big Sky Conference.

This ranking is largely due to returning players like Parker Kelly and is also reflected in the team’s work ethic by starting practices prior to their first game against Texas Southern University on Nov. 14, according to

Head coach Jim Hayford said this preseason is showing a lot of growth and hard work, with a focus on development for the program and the players.

“[This ranking] needs to go in one ear and out the other,” said Hayford. “Once the first game starts, none of that matters.”

Hayford also said many of the returning players have done good things as underclassmen and wants to be a better defensive team in order to compete for the Big Sky Championship.

Senior Parker Kelly said being ranked second in the league shows the basketball team has gained a lot of respect because of the large number of returning players.

“There’s not a whole lot of substance there [behind the ranking] because it is preseason, which doesn’t really matter,” said Kelly. “If we finish out second, I would not be all that happy. I want to be first. … We have got to go out there and prove it.”

Kelly said overall improvement from the players also factored into a higher ranking.

According to, last year’s team was able to make eight school records, including a league mark, while achieving five more wins for the season than the previous year.

“Everyone has come back,” said Kelly. “ … Missing the [Big Sky] Conference in the last two years has really burned us, but we’ve got to show that we will not be denied.”