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The Antelope

New faces, roles for UNK basketball

UNK junior Kyle Juhl, an important sharp shooter of the team, goes in for a score against Oklahoma Baptist during the November 10 game. Juhl says that he is taking on a leadership role this season in helping step up and score more points. The players hope the scoring of each game this year will be more balanced than has been in previous years.


After receiving 10th place in pre-season poll, Lopers look to replace nearly 80% of last year’s scoring in 2018-2019 season

By Chris Langin

If you’ve followed UNK basketball over the past half decade, these names just popped into your head:

Lansman, Danielson, McKay, Rohrich.

Those four combined to play in 519 games and started 345 of them during their careers. 

Unfortunately for the Lopers, that’s the last time they’ll step on a collegiate court.

Coming off a 16-14 season, the Lopers appear to be entering ‘rebuilding’ mode. The stats would back that up, as they have to replace 77 percent of their scoring from last season. Trey Lansman, who was last seen posting up cornerback’s on the gridiron, accounted for 28 percent of the scoring himself last year, more than what the entire team returns.   They were picked to finish 10th in the MIAA conference by the coaches.

“We definitely have a chip on our shoulder,” said junior Kyle Juhl, the leading returning scorer. “And being picked 10th in the conference is everyone else’s expectations. We are expecting to improve every week and by the end of the year we expect to be better than 10th in the conference.”

We are expecting to improve every week and by the end of the year we expect to be better than 10th in the conference.

  Kyle Juhl

While Juhl, a 6-foot-5 sharp shooter, averaged just 5.5 points a game last season, don’t be shocked if that number is doubled. While the Lopers do lose a lot of scoring, that opens up shot attempts and an opportunity for more volume for the returners.

Junior AJ Jackson, who started 22 games a season ago, also is in position to have a major upgrade in both scoring and rebounding. Also returning in the front court is 6-foot-8 sophomore Weston Baker Magrath, who went a perfect 7-of-7 from the field in the second to last game of the season a year ago.

Each of those players will look to make the transition from being ‘just another guy’ to being major contributors and leaders of the team.

“My role has changed into more of a leadership role,” said Juhl. “As far as scoring, we lose a lot but we also have a lot of guys who are capable of stepping up on any given night. The scoring will be a lot more balanced.

Sophomore Sam Morris, who took a medical redshirt last season, looks to replace McKay at the point guard position. Chase Winchester, a transfer from Division I Stephen F. Austin, also looks to play in the backcourt.

One name in particular to keep an eye on is Freshman Kanon Koster, who was the Omaha World-Hearld and Lincoln Journal Star Athlete of the Year at Kearney High last year. Koster has had to adjust his style of play a bit in the past couple months.

“The game is a lot more physical, and it’s faster,” said Koster. “The style of play changes from high school because of the size in college.”

The Lopers will have their first home game on Saturday against the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs.

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