Pitt State men prep for home opener

The Gorillas host Baptist Bible College Saturday

The Pittsburg State men’s basketball team will play their first home game of the season on Saturday afternoon, hosting Baptist Bible College at 3 PM.

The Gorillas are 1-1 to start the season. They picked up their first win of the year last time out, beating Sioux Falls 62-55.

That game was two weeks ago.

While Pitt State has used some of that time to clean some things up, the two-week layoff isn’t ideal for the Gorillas.

“Two weeks off is too long,” says head coach Kim Anderson, “Now that we’re through it, I think our guys are ready to play and they’re excited. You just get bored. We added some stuff which is good. We brought in some officials and scrimmaged. You try to simulate (a game) the best you can, but it’s nothing like playing someone else.”

RELEASE FROM PITTSBURG STATE ATHLETICS:

The Pittsburg State University men’s basketball team will open home debut Saturday (Nov. 23) when the Gorillas play host to Baptist Bible College. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. (CST) at John Lance Arena/Whetzel Court.

The Pitt State action can be heard on ESPN 100.7 FM radio, online at espn1007.com/go or through the ESPN 100.7 or KSHQ app for phones or mobile devices.

The Records
Pitt State is 1-1 on the young season. The Gorillas split a pair of games at the Central Region Challenge on Nov. 8-9 at Kansas City, Mo. Pitt State dropped a 73-62 decision in the season opener to Upper Iowa University before bouncing back the next day to defeat the University of Sioux Falls, 62-55.

The Gorillas have been idle the past two weeks since those season opening contests.

Baptist Bible College has posted a 5-2 record on the season. The Patriots also have played six exhibition games, all losses.

Saturday’s action will count toward Pitt State’s won-loss record while it will serve as an exhibition for BBC.

Head Coach Kim Anderson
Pittsburg State’s Kim Anderson is in his third season leading the Gorillas. He has compiled a pair of 17-13 records in his first two seasons at Pitt State.

Anderson (Missouri, ’79) became the Gorillas’ 15th all-time head coach on Apr. 10, 2017, after coaching the previous three seasons at his alma mater – the University of Missouri.

He has a 336-189 (.640) record in 19 seasons as a collegiate head coach, including the 2014 NCAA Division II National Championship as head coach at the University of Central Missouri as well as two more Division II Final Four appearances (2007, 2009) while compiling a 274-95 (.743) record at the school.

Anderson led UCM to seven trips to the NCAA Division II National Tournament and seven 20-win seasons. In his final season with the Mules he guided the squad to a 30-5 overall record and the D2 national title.

His Mules teams captured six MIAA regular season titles (2005, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014) and four MIAA Tournament titles (2005, 2007, 2009, 2013).

He was selected the MIAA Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2010, and the NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year in 2014.

Series History
This will be the third meeting between the Gorillas and the Patriots. Pitt State holds a 2-0 advantage in the series, including a 120-31 win the the most recent meeting on Dec. 16, 2017.

Scouting the Gorillas
The Gorillas have three players scoring in double figures early in the season: sophomore guards Ray Elliott (13.0 ppg) and R.J. Lawrence (12.5 ppg) and senior forward Christian Edmondson (10.5 ppg).

Elliott is averaging 13.0 points and 2.0 rebounds per game to date. He shares the team lead with four 3-point field goals.

Elliott (6-4, 165) saw action in all 30 games in a reserve role for the Gorillas in 2018-19. The Tulsa, Okla., native contributed 4.8 points per game. Elliott (6-4, 165) made 27 3-point field goals on the year (27-83, .325). He led the state of Oklahoma in scoring as a senior at Tulsa’s Nathan Hale High School in 2017-18, averaging 36 points per game.

Lawrence is contributing 12.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game on the season. He has averaged a team-high 36.0 minutes per game.

Lawrence (5-11, 145) played in 17 contests during his freshman campaign, averaging 3.5 points per game. The Blue Springs, Mo., native shot 46.7 percent from the field (21-45) in limited action (7.6 minutes per game). He was a three-time All-Conference and two-time All-District performer at Blue Springs High School.

Edmondson has averaged a double-double to date, scoring 10.5 points and grabbing 14.5 rebounds per game. He is shooting a team-best 56.3 percent form the field, making nine of 16 shots from the floor.

Edmondson (6-6, 215) posted career highs with 19 points and 18 rebounds in the Gorillas’ season over vs. Upper Iowa on Nov. 8.

Edmondson averaged 6.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game during his junior campaign. He saw action in 25 games, including eight starts, in the Pitt State frontcourt. The Flower Mound, Texas, native shot 64.9 percent from the field, making 74 of 114 shots from the field. He also grabbed a team-leading 54 offensive rebounds and recorded 32 blocked shots (1.3 bpg) on the season.

Edmondson has scored 332 points (4.8 ppg) and grabbed 269 rebounds (3.9 rpg) in 69 career games for the Gorillas.

Senior guard Jah-Kobe Womack is averaging 9.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per gme to date. Womack (6-3, 175) transferred to Pitt State from NCAA Division II member Quincy University for his senior campaign.

He started 25 of 28 games played for the Hawks last year. The St. Louis, Mo., native averaged 12.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game during his junior campaign, after redshirting at QU in 2017-18. He made a team-leading 41 3-point field goals.

Womack averaged 10.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore at Allen County Community College in 2016-17. He helped lead Cardinal Ritter College Prep to the Missouri Class 3A state championship as a junior in 2013-14. He averaged 19 points and six rebounds per game, earning first-team All-Conference honors as a senior in 2014-15.

Junior forward Dejon Waters Jr. is contributing 9.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game as well after joining the Gorillas from Central Georgia Technical College.

Waters (6-4, 220) averaged 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game as a sophomore at Central Georgia Tech. The Atlanta, Ga., native scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds a game as a senior at Shiloh High School.

Junior forward Antonio Givens II has averaged 3.0 points and 3.0 rebounds per game to date. He transferred to Pitt State from NCAA Division I Kent State University.

Givens (6-9, 260) redshirted in his only season at Kent State after playing his freshman and sophomore seasons at Wabash Valley College. He averaged 3.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game as a sophomore for the Warriors in 2017-18, shooting 62.5 percent from the field on the season.

Givens was a standout prep performer at West High School in Columbus, Ohio.

Redshirt freshman guard Drew Roelfs has averaged 2.5 points per game while making his first two collegiate starts.

Roelfs (6-1, 180) redshirted in his initial season in the Pitt State program in 2018-19. He earned All-League honors as a senior at Pittsburg High School.

Senior guard Marcel Cherry and junior guard Xav are expected to make their season debuts for Pitt State.

Cherry (6-1, 185) averaged 4.2 points and 1.7 assists per game in his first season in the Pitt State program in 2018-19. The Merrillville, Ind., native made three starts in the Pitt State backcourt.

Cherry averaged 7.7 points and 3.2 assists per game as a sophomore at Wabash Valley College in 2017-18. He posted 9.1 points per game as a freshman at Howard College, earning honorable mention All-Conference honors.

Womack (6-6, 180) transferred to Pitt State from Johnson County Community College. He started 10 of 35 games played for the Cavaliers in 2018-19, helping JCCC to a 31-4 record and the NJCAA Division II National Runner-Up finish.

The St. Louis, Mo., native averaged 8.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game while shooting 47.1 percent from the field on the season.

Womack was selected the NJCAA Kansas Jayhawk Community College Division II Freshman of the Year in 2017-18 when he averaged 12.5 points and 7.7 rebounds per game while starting 26 of 31 games. He posted nine double-doubles during his freshman campaign and garnered second-team All-Jayhawk Conference honors.

Senior guard A.J. Walker will return to action for the Gorillas at the start of the second semester. Walker started all 30 games during his junior campaign, averaging 7.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.

The Kansas City, Mo., native transferred to Pitt State from State Fair Community College where he averaged 13.7 points and 7.0 assists per game during his sophomore campaign and earned honorable mention NJCAA All-America honors.

Pitt State Probable Starters
F 12 Dejon Waters Jr., 6-4, 220, Jr., Atlanta, Ga.
F 33 Christian Edmondson, 6-6, 215, Sr., Flower Mound, Texas
G 3 Jah-Kobe Womack, 6-3, 175, Sr., St. Louis, Mo.
G 14 R.J. Lawrence, 5-11, 145, So., Blue Springs, Mo.
G 23 Drew Roelfs, 6-1, 180, Fr.-RS, Pittsburg, Kan.

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