Hayt-ing The Preseason: Men's Basketball Charges Into The MCAC Schedule
With the preseason now behind them, Men's Basketball is getting their eyes fixed on the part of the season that really matters; when wins and losses make a difference in the standings of the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference.
In what appears to have the makings of a very wide open race for the championship banner, Blazer guard Jon Hayter is expected to have even more of an impact in his second season than the Pinawa native had as a rookie in the conference, when he set a new CMU mark for points in a game by a rookie when he dropped 35 on the College Wesmen.
"Jon spent his time this summer in the gym and that hard work has translated into an exceptional start to the schedule," said head coach Billy Isaac. In five preseason games, Hayter is averaging 23 points per game.
Standing a shade under 6 feet, Hayter gets it done on offensive with his great jump shot, his ability to slash to the basket and most recognizably, his ability to get above the rim. "I think as many people come to our game to watch Jon in warmup as come for the actual game," said Athletic Director Russell Willms. "He is a pretty special athlete."
Despite two narrow losses last weekend at the Kevin Thom Classic in Bottineau, Hayter was all over the offensive statistics, scoring 30 points in an 86-61 loss to Dakota College and 29 points in a 116-101 loss to Turtle Mountain Community College. These consistent numbers are something that Hayter would like to see himself add to his game this season.
"I am trying to remember to stay agressive and confident through the whole game this year," said Hayter, "to put pressure on the defense and to let that aggressiveness carry over to the defensive end of the court too."
Men's Basketball meets the defending Champions, Red River Rebels on Friday night in the Loewen and for CMU, this will be their first look at a very different Rebels team. Legendary coach Sukhvir Singh, who has 7 consecutive titles on his resume, has given way to a new coach, Scott Kirkpatrick with many new players has the veteran CMU team unsure what to expect.
Then on Saturday CMU welcomes the 2015 MCAC Men's Basketball Finalists, Providence Pilots, for an 8 pm tip-off. The Pilots have elevated expectations for their program after last season's success and together with the Rebels, will be a great early challenge for CMU.
The CMU women are also in action this Friday and Saturday, facing the same two opponents. The women tip off Friday night at 6 pm against Red River and 6 pm on Saturday night against Providence.