By Tiffany L. Rehbein
The harder the process to achieve the product, the greater the product.
For the MSU-Northern Lights basketball team, hard work and work ethic are their greatest strengths which should lead to the utmost product.
I think, that, so far, weve gone hard and one of our strengths has been our work ethic, said head coach Tim Walker. Our intensity, work ethic in practice, in the last week and a half, it has been strong in those areas.
The Lights kickoff the 1999-2000 season Oct. 22-23, against Calgary at the MSU-Northern gymnasium.
Offensively, the Lights perimeter game looks strong this season.
Returning junior David Sawyer averaged 13.2 points per game last year. Also last season, during 16 games, Sawyer averaged 47 percent from the field.
Returning senior forward Powell Becker of Belt averaged 10.4 points per game.
Powells been a four-year player here for us and hes very solid, Walker said. Hes very tough mentally, and I look for him to have a great year.
Senior Russel Keller of Turner returns to the lineup for the Lights. Keller averaged 51 percent from the floor last season.
Russ does all the things you need some guys to do, Walker said. Hes a good scorer, he gets offensive boards, and plays good defense, hes a real team player.
Michael Claxton of Chester comes into his last season as a guard for the Lights. One of the top scorers and rebounders from last year, Claxton looks to be integral in the running offense Walker hopes to run this season.
At the alumni games two weeks ago, Claxton had a team-high 23 points in the win.
Krste Serafimoski, at 6-foot-8, is the tallest Lights player, and, behind good foot work inside, looks to play strong at the post position.
Junior Bruce Stacy, freshman Dustin Endsley, sophomore J.C. Lindeman and junior Keith Carothers are new to this years squad at the guard position.
Sophomore Chad Meyer at forward and junior Mel Stubblefield round out the Lights roster.
In the preseason, the Lights have been working on the mental and psychological aspect of the game.
Were really pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zone, Walker said. Well draw from this in the last five minutes of every game when were still running hard and playing touch defense.
The No. 1 difference from last season, which ended with a 13-18 record, will be the work ethic, Walker said.
Some different looks offensively, such as opening up the running game, will also liven the court. More 3-pointers and perimeter shooting can also be looked for this season.
The tempo, as the fan sees it, should be up, Walker said.
Walker, in his fifth year coaching at Northern, is joined by Belt native Reece Gliko as an assistant and Jonathon Hanson.