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Nathan Rohmann

Nathan Rohmann

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Lakers season/home opener set for Wednesday night

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

MATTOON--The Lake Land College Lakers men's basketball team has a new set of returning players, a new head coach, and a couple of new assistant coaches. What they need is a new season.

The Lakers will get a new season underway Wednesday night when they host the Cobras of Parkland College at Laker Fieldhouse.

When the Lakers' season opener was postponed, the next game on the schedule was Parkland, and the Wednesday night game will now serve as the season and home opener.

The Lakers have been waiting to prove they're better than last season's team that went 8-23 overall, the only team in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference to fail to reach double-digit wins. In fact, for returning players, there's a lot they'd like to overwrite with new, improved statistics and won-loss records for the conference and district standings.

A conference record of 5-13 sat the Lakers in the GRAC basement last time around. The Lakers' District 16 standing was only slightly better, tenth out of eleven teams and the only team without double-digit wins as an overall record in that group.

Last season, the Lakers had only one returning sophomore as a leader for the entire season in Joel Atabo, and while a great team player, Atabo could've used some more returning sophomore company. Atabo has gone on to play at McKendree University, now a junior.

This season, there are multiple returners to lead and mix with the frosh newcomers.

Last seasons' leading scorer, sophomore, William Tinsley (Colfax, Ridgeview High School) was good for 15.5 points per game, and will be joined by fellow sophomores, Robert DeVries (Forreston, Forreston High School), Jack Raboin (Mattoon, Mattoon High School), Tyler Schuring (Arthur, Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond High School), Alex Bohnhoff (Dieterich, Dieterich High School), Jeffrey Martin (Paris, Paris High School), Estiven Estacio (San Pio X Manizales; Caldas, Columbia), and Paulo Camillo Jr. (Word of God Christian Academy; Sao Paulo, Brazil).

Newcomers to the Lakers include: Josh Jefferson (New Albany, IN; New Albany High School), Sean Kromah (Smyrna, TN; Stewart's Creek High School), Tristan Warner (Gays, Windsor High School), Nnamdi Van Dulm (Duluth, GA; West Allis High School), Anqwuan Beckett (Champaign, Centennial High School), Josh Robinson (Normal, Normal West High School), Kasey Elam (Champaign, Centennial High School), and Detaveon Day (Cadiz, KY; Trigg County High School).

The team has played in a number of "jamborees," where multiple scrimmage style sessions are played versus a number of invited teams at a single location. To date, the Lakers have participated at jamborees hosted by Danville Area Community College, Lincoln College, Vincennes University, and John A. Logan College. The jamborees not only help teams ready themselves for the upcoming season, but serve as a "showcase" for plenty of interested four-year university scouts who want an early look.

New Lakers' head basketball coach, Brandon Colvin, also wouldn't mind wiping the slate of last season's struggles clean in order to get the returning sophomores thinking forward. While the Lakers team and Lake Land College are new to Colvin, he has had many years of coaching experience, including stints in Iowa, Texas, North Dakota, and Minnesota, as an assistant coach in the first three and as head coach at the latter. Colvin has also coached overseas in Qatar, Bahrain, and Denmark. Lake Land will actually be Colvin's closest coaching job to home, hailing from Waverly.

Colvin brings a couple new coaches as assistants: Julian Larry and Chad Graves. The three join longtime assistant coach, Dave Earp.

The Lakers will get three regular season games in (vs. Parkland, Ellsworth Community College, and North Iowa Area Community College) prior to their first District 16 game with Vincennes University, who is ranked #22 in the NJCAA Division I Men's Basketball Preseason Poll. The Vincennes game is the first that will count toward post-season seeding.

All of Lake Land's GRAC opponents--with the exception of D2 Rend Lake College--fall into the District 16 group, as well as non-GRAC competitor, Lewis & Clark Community College. Lake Land will have a home-road set of games with each of them.

For now, the Lakers wouldn't mind a good turnout at Laker Fieldhouse for Wednesday night's season/home opener. The men's roundballers, although having gone through a bevy of struggles last season, were one of Lake Land's fan favorites for their hustle and never-say-die attitude. Despite the tough season, the Lakers drew their highest broadcast viewership since live streaming was introduced several years ago.

There are four ways to experience the Lakers opener, so fans near and far can be a part of the beginning of the new season.

Undoubtedly the best way to experience Lakers basketball (men's or women's) is in person at Laker Fieldhouse. There's truly not a bad seat in the house.

If fans are too far to attend in person, the Lakerball Livestream is a great choice, always free-per-view, with a link to post right here on the Lakerball blog prior to tip-off.

If a smartphone is a better option, a free Lakerball Radio app can be downloaded for iPhones or Androids, using the App Store or iTunes for Apple devices and Google Play for Android devices. Whether at home, at work, or right in Laker Fieldhouse, Lakerball Radio has the simulcast of the opener. (There's also a media player for Lakerball Radio on the Lakerball blog.)

If good old radio works, tune into Lake Land College's flagship station, WLKL 89.9 The Max Alternative. At 89.9 FM within 35 miles of campus, home or vehicle gets the simulcast. If a laptop is a preference, WLKL has an online audio stream at

Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. CST, Wednesday night at Laker Fieldhouse. All broadcasts begin 5-15 minutes prior to tip-off.

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