Monday, October 16, 2017

UIS starts basketball practice on Sunday

Sunday marks the first day NCAA Division II basketball teams can officially practice and the University of Illinois Springfield women’s squad is kicking off the day by manning the start and finish lines of the Springfield Marathon.

After the coaching staff and players wrap up their volunteer work, they’ll hit the hardwood. “I like the enthusiasm of our team,” UIS women’s basketball coach Mark Kost said. “I like the competition that we are going to have within the team for playing time.

 UIS men’s basketball coach Bill Walker will have almost a month to prepare the first game on Nov. 10 against Malone University in Canton, Ohio.

“On paper it’s my deepest team,” Walker said. “We still only have one senior (Eddie Longmeyer) on scholarship, but we have a fairly veteran team without having a lot of seniors. Zach (Steinberg)Vince (Walker)Logan (Gonce) and Bahari (Amaya) are in their third year and the three freshmen last year all played a lot.”

Walker has a new member of his coaching staff. Assistant Vincent Grier was an All-Big Ten first team selection at Minnesota in 2005.

Walker was an assistant at Minnesota recruited Grier, who signed with the Miami Heat after college and played overseas.

For the first time since the 2010-11 season, UIS has area players on the roster with the addition of Rochester High School product Collin Stallworth and Lanphier graduate Aundrae Williams.

UIS struggled through injuries to a 9-18 overall record and 4-14 Great Lakes Valley Conference record last season.

Under Kost, UIS women’s team finished 9-17 overall and 3-15 in the GLVC. “I’m looking forward to that finally over the two-year period we have full roster and we have our classes evened out,” Kost said.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on October 13, 2017.

Read the entire article online.