Men’s basketball returns only two starting players

The Truman State University men’s basketball team began its season at the GLVC/Great Midwest Athletic Conference Challenge Nov. 11-12. They came away from the weekend with one win and one loss.

After advancing to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight during 2021, Truman failed to make the tournament this past March.  

This season, they enter with an inexperienced but talented squad, senior forward Elijah Hazecamp said. They return with only two starting players from last season, Hazecamp and fellow senior forward Hunter Strait.  

Hazecamp said the team has a clear goal this season. 

“We want to win,” Hazecamp said. “We have a lot of young guys, so that comes with growing pains. We’re focused on constantly improving, making sure today is better than yesterday.”

Hazecamp said he is aware of the youth of the team but that their young players are already contributing at a high level. 

Hazecamp currently leads the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 14.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. 

Freshman guard Xavier Hall has started five of six games so far, averaging 8.6 points and leading the team in assists. Hazecamp said Hall will be a huge contributor to the team this season. 

“I want to win GLVC freshman of the year,” Hall said. “That is my goal.”  

Hall said the competition at the collegiate level is a step up from where he has competed in the past and has been a bit tough getting used to but that he is getting more comfortable with each passing game. 

Hazecamp also said senior Dylan Peeters and Strait are players to watch out for.

Strait recently became the 33rd player in Truman’s history to score 1000 points for his career and has played the most games for the men’s basketball team in school history. He is second on the team in scoring this season, averaging 12.6 points per game. 

Peeters has started eight of ten games this season, moving him into a larger role than he has previously played. He is currently fifth on the team in scoring and second in rebounding.

Hall echoed Hazecamp’s goal for the team this season. 

“We want to make it to the NCAA tournament and play deep into March,” Hall said. “Once we get there, we will try to go as far as we can.”