Basketball adjusts to life without Eastern

Junior Jalen Christian shoots a layup.

Jesse Bond

Junior Jalen Christian shoots a layup.

Chris Werner, Sports Editor

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Changing of the guard.

With Nojel Eastern graduated, along with three other starters from last season, Evanston will implement a drastically different style of play than in recent years.

“We’re not going to be as big as we were last year,” coach Mike Ellis said. “We’re going to have more talented one-on-one scorers, it’s going to be a different brand of basketball. That assists us in trying to develop our own identity rather than trying to copy from last year’s team.”

The team believes that one thing that could spark the new smaller, fast-paced offense is good defense.

“Being smaller than we were last year, we’re definitely going to have to lock up on defense,” junior guard Jaheim Holden said. “Our offense is going to come from our defense and our quickness.”

With the departure of a large number of seniors, the leadership role is changing hands but the players feel like they’re in a good position to continue the tradition of great leaders.

“I feel like I learned a lot about being a leader from those starters last year,” junior guard Lance Jones said. “They were all great leaders, we can take a lot of notes from them.”

Despite a lack of height throughout the team, there is a looming 6´8¨ figure ready ready to step in: Matt Hall. Hall needs to perform well this season to help the Kits reach their full potential.

A talented group of freshmen, Blake Peters, Isaiah Holden, Elijah Bull and Jaylin Gibson will come in this year and compete for playing time. Ellis thinks they will be along the same path as Jones, Jaheim Holden and Ryan Bost were as freshmen. But if they play well enough in practice, they could work themselves into the rotation.