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With the Mustangs top three scorers and two of its top three rebounders departed from last year's team, the Western Wyoming men's basketball team will look to a returning group of seven as well as seven newcomers to provide the scoring and rebounding punch necessary to continue moving toward the top of the conference in Ryan Orton's third season as coach. After a sixth place finish in his first year, the program had a five game improvement and finished in a tie for fourth in 2013-14 in addition to a 14-17 overall record.
Returning point guard, Isaiah Parros (Denver, CO/Highlands Ranch HS), was the team's fourth leading scorer at 9.2 points per game as well as lead the team in assists. Backcourt mate, Dimitri Saliba (West Valley, UT/Hunter HS), who led the Mustangs in rebounding (4.3) will provide a dynamic 1-2 punch defensively. Stefan Wright (Adelaide, Australia) started 18 of 31 games last season on the frontline and will be looked to for more production on the interior in 2014-15. Namdi Okonkwo (Dallas, TX/Allen HS), who led the team in blocked shots in 2013-14, will need to continue to provide rebounding and rim protection on the defensive end. Other returning players for the Mustangs include Jeremy Head (Nome, AK/Texas A&M International) and two redshirt freshmen in Jarred Laws (Anchorage, AK/East HS) and Jonas Santana (Gran Canaria, Spain).
On the perimeter, newcomers to the program include in-state product, Josh Fearing (Cheyenne, WY/Central HS) who helped lead his team to a state tournament berth last year. The Mustangs continue to add quality players from the state of Alaska in Tyler Wells (Fairbanks, AK/Monroe Catholic) a three time state champion in boys basketball during his prep career. LaTrey Newsome (West Seattle, WA/Impact Sports Academy) spent last season at Impact Sports Academy and with his size and skill set should be able to play multiple positions at both ends of the floor. Zack Funk (Hansen, ID/Kimberly HS) will be returning to the hard wood after serving an LDS Mission. His size and strength should prove valuable to the group of Mustang perimeter players.
On the frontline, Logun "Gunner" Javernick (Canon City, CO/Canon City HS) has a combination of size and mobility that coach Ryan Orton has been looking for since his arrival to Western. He should provide valuable rebounding and interior defense for the Mustangs. Brandon Davies (West Valley, UT/Hunter HS) is an active, versatile forward that could potentially see time at three different spots on the floor. Rounding out the squad is yet another Brazilian product in Felipe Meirelles (Santo Andre, Brazil). His ability to stretch the defense and understanding of the game are strong assets for the Mustangs.
Western has 13 home games that span over the months of November, December, January and February including two tournaments. They will have their annual Thanksgiving Holiday weekend classic as well as an invitational tournament the first weekend of December. Their first seven games will be on the road before opening the season at home on November 25th. It will be important for this group to stick with the process and gel together quickly to prepare for the always difficult Region IX conference schedule which begins in January.
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