All three of these players have moved on from Utah Valley basketball and won’t be returning this season.
“We lost three talented, tough players in Isaiah, Geddes and Keith Thompson,” head coach Dick Hunsaker said when asked about the go-to player this year. “To say that a guy that has the creative ability that Willaims had, we really don’t have.”
What UVU does have is a group of returning juniors and seniors who are anxious to get the season going and to leave the Great West Conference with a bang as they will make the transition to the Western Athletic Conference in the 2013-14 season.
This season, the men’s basketball team will try to redeem itself from the finish it had last year, losing in the first round of the GWC tournament. Hunsaker believes he has the team to do that.
“I think this team is going to be a much more balanced team,” Hunsaker said. “It’s going to have to be a team that’s going to rely on one another. Trust one another more. Play together a little bit better than we did a year ago.”
Here’s what Utah Valley should be expecting on the court:
Holton Hunsaker, No. 12: Junior — Guard (110 assists, led team)
“A 5’10″ white point guard isn’t the go-to guy most of the time,” Hunsaker said jokingly.
Some people are expecting him to be. In the metaphorical shadow of Williams last year, Hunsaker might have to be the poster boy this year, getting the start at guard this season. Hunsaker understands, though, that they have a lot of players down in the post who can make the difference at the end of the day.
Ben Aird, No. 34 — Junior, Center (48 blocks, led team)
With Geddes Robinson all the way in Germany, Ben Aird is staying in Utah Valley to try to have a successful year as did Robinson last season. Aird led the team in blocks and was only second in rebounds, right behind Robinson. They’re going to need him in the post to deliver in big games since they only shot for 31 percent from the three-point range.
Alfonzo Hubbard, Nick Thompson, Zach Jones — all seniors, all forwards, combined three starts last season
Expect all three of these seniors to get some playing time. Hubbard is coming off an impressive year off the bench last year, even though he only started three games. Jones only played in 22 games last year but with his final season at hand, expect him to try to make an impact off the bench. Thompson most likely will get the start most of the season, coming in from Oklahoma on his senior year. He looked impressive in the Meet the Team game a couple of weeks back and looks to make his final year a memorable one at UVU.
Alex Rivera is the assistant sports editor of the UVU Review. You can contact him at [email protected] or through his Twitter account @A_River_Uh.