After a disappointing 12-17 (5-11) season that included late game collapses and glaring defensive holes due to injuries, the preseason rankings placed UNO at seventh place out nine-team Summit League. But Hansen said it didn’t bother him and that where the team ends up is more important.
UNO will have to get past to land a tournament berth. NDSU and SDSU have taken the last four bids for the Summit League.
This year’s team will be led by a strong group of veterans, with six seniors on the roster. Forward Jake White, and guards Marcus Tyus and Devon Patterson, three seniors who all missed significant parts of the season last year due to injuries, will be back at full health to start the 2015-2016 campaign.
They will join forward Randy Reed and guards Tim Smallwood and Kyler Erickson as the senior leaders on this team.
The other pieces that will fall into place for the Mavericks include two Central graduates Tre’Shawn Thurman and TraDeon Hollins. Thurman shone last year for the struggling team, averaging 10 points and six rebounds per game. Thurman will need to fill the gap left by last year’s top rebounder Mike Rostampour, who graduated and signed with BC Prievidza this past year.
Hollins joins UNO this year after brief stints with junior colleges for the past two seasons.
Creighton Prep graduate Alex Allbery will finally get his chance to play after sitting out a transfer year. Fremont graduate Mitchell Hahn will sit this season after transferring from Holy Cross.
Other newcomers include center Zach Pirog and guards JT Gibson and Zach Jackson, three freshmen who will add depth to the UNO roster.