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Oct 24, 2018

Panhandle State Communications

Men’s Basketball Faces Fresh Start

Goodwell, Okla.—The men’s basketball team is eighteen practices in and ready to get into gear for the 2018-19 season. The coaching staff is continuing to build a solid foundation on defense and Head Coach Aaron Coombs notes the team boasts good depth and great talent on offense.

“I am really excited to get going for the season and compete outside the team,” says Coombs, eager to showcase where they excel and to see if any susceptibility surfaces. “We need to keep working on our defensive skills and rebounding, but we have a highly talented offense that will give us the ability to score consistently.”

In his first year as head coach, Coombs doles high praises on his team for their willingness to buy in to the program and the staff and their motivation for this new chapter of Panhandle basketball. Junior forward Jaedon Whitfield returns this year after a stellar 2017-18 season in which was named to All-Conference Honorable Mention and earned three number-one SAC rankings in Rebounds/Game, Total Rebounds and Double Doubles. “Whitfield returned in elite shape, “says Coombs, “He has been putting in work on and off the court, he’s been playing well in preseason, and he has been an absolute joy to coach.” Sophomore guard DK Sumo is another star returner for the Aggies that the coaching staff has been impressed with. “DK had a gradual start in finding his role but has since really blossomed and taken a huge step in development,” dotes Coombs.

A bright spot among the new faces of the team is junior transfer Khallid Edwards. “He is really our engine,” expounds Coombs, “He still needs to continue to progress but he has stepped in as a leader and a true competitor whose drive dictates how we play.” He continued, “All our incoming guys are really talented and have been gelling well with returners. We are still working on finding our identity but we are really excited to figure out exactly who we are as a team.”

The Aggies will be in full game mode when their season opener approaches in less than two weeks. On the road for a starting set over Oct. 29-30 against the University of St. Thomas and Arlington Baptist University, respectively, the team will look to get some early season wins under their belt. Coombs affirms this season is sure to be a rousing one for Aggie fans across campus, confirming his team and style of play will be fast-paced and certain to generate a lot of excitement. “I am hoping we can surprise a lot of people this season,” says Coombs, “We play a lot of DII teams in non-conference games and I think those will prep us to take on the higher ranked teams in the league. People don’t realize the amount of talent we have this year.”

The team is headed into this new season bolstered by a new motto: ‘Protect the P.’ Coombs conceded that winning at home is essential for any team, and he wants his athletes to reinforce that ideal, saying, “It is something I have emphasized since day one. We need to protect our home court, take pride in it, and make Panhandle the toughest place our opponents will come to play.”

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