New season, same faces as men’s basketball gears up to hit the court

It has been almost eight months since we last saw the Mavericks men’s basketball team on the court in Aberdeen, SD. The team is looking to bounce back after a tough playoff loss last year to the Northern State Wolves and prove why they should be taken seriously once again. 

The Mavericks are returning all but one starter from the aforementioned playoff game, and are led this year by senior center Kelby Kramer, junior guard Malik Willingham and sophomore forward Brady Williams.

Head coach Matthew Margenthaler is heading into his 22nd season with the team. Margenthaler has guided the Mavericks to a 436-197 record, which has earned them seven conference championships and 13 NCAA Tournament appearances.

“One thing about this team so far that I have been noticing is that they are really unselfish,” said Margenthaler. 

With four returning starters, team chemistry and strength in numbers will be important for the team in the upcoming season.

The season officially started Saturday, which means the Mavericks have already begun practice. The team will be without last year’s leading scorer, Quincy Anderson, who transferred to the Division I Murray State Racers after starting in 42 games with the Mavericks. As a result of the change of personnel, Margenthaler said he hopes to push the tempo in transition a lot more this year.

“We are very versatile, we have a lot of guys that can do a lot of different things, so we want to use that to our advantage this year,” said Margentaler. “But to do that you have to be a very solid defensive team, limit the turnovers, and rebound the ball well.” 

Junior forward Williams will be stepping into a bigger role and has taken it upon himself to be a leader on and off the court. 

“I think my role this year will be to be a great leader for the younger guys. I think that if I can be someone that they can come to when they have questions, that would be my biggest role,” Williams said.

The Mavericks will also be welcoming senior guard Trevor Moore, a transfer from Morgan State University in Baltimore, who looks to step in and make an impact. Another player to watch for this season will be sophomore guard Tyrese Willingham, brother of Malik.

“Tyrese is a guy who can do a lot of things for us, and we have a lot of players who could have great seasons this year,” Margenthaler added. 

Including the season opener at home against Gustavus Adolphus College Nov. 3, the Mavericks begin the season with four of their first six games on the road, including a cross country matchup against Sonoma State University in California. This could prove to be tough with the rest of the conference looking to be good competition, but the team is undeterred. 

“It is going to be important to take it one game at a time. Trying to get out of every weekend with two wins will push us closer to the main goal this year, which would be to make the NCAA tournament,” said Williams. “That’s a big priority for us.”

With a conference championship and NCAA appearance potentially in store, the Mavericks are looking to come back strong and make a statement. Margenthaler and Williams hope to lead a healthy team with high hopes and a lot to play for this year. 

Header Photo: The 2022-23 Men’s Basketball team is set to play their first game Thursday, Nov. 3 against Gustavus Adolphus. (Courtesy Photo)
Write to Hayden Lee at

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