Panthers lose but present bright future

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

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The 2015-2016 season is over for the Panthers, but the future is bright for the Eastern men’s basketball organization.

Eastern will graduate four seniors: wing Trae Anderson, guard Luke Norman, forward Joe Kuligoski and forward Luke

Senior Wing Trae Anderson scores six points in the Panther's 78-62 loss to Murray State Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn.

Jason Howell
Senior Wing Trae Anderson scores six points in the Panther’s 78-62 loss to Murray State Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn.

Piotrowski. Anderson was the team’s leading scorer.

Anderson, however, did struggle in the final game Wednesday night against Murray State, scoring just six points.

The Panthers will return 11 players next season, including guard Cornell Johnston. Johnston has been the team’s point guard since he came in last season.

Junior Demetrius McReynolds will also come back for the Panthers. Coach Jay Spoonhour said they brought McReynolds into the Panthers’ organization for his scoring ability, but turned out to be one of the team’s best defenders. McReynolds hit 49 3-pointers this season and scored 326 points.

The Panthers will also return six freshmen from this season: Casey Teson, Marshawn Blackmon, Aleksa Novakovic, Patrick Muldoon, Lucas Jones and Aboubacar Diallo.

Teson was the team’s strongest 3-point shooter, hitting 64 shots from beyond the arc.

Spoonhour said it took the team a little while to figure out how to play with each other at the beginning of the season because there were nine new players on the roster.

Eastern will now look forward to next season with a chance for another OVC title, and “make it to Friday without playing Wednesday or Thursday,” Spoonhour said.

Eastern finished the season with a 9-8 record in OVC play. In the tough league that the Panthers play in, nine wins is a good season. Six other teams besides Eastern finished with more than nine wins.

 

Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]