With four of five starters from last year back, the Coyotes are hoping to improve on what was a disappointing 10-20 season. Set aside the starting experience though and you're left with plenty of fresh faces in the lineup and on the bench. It will definitely be a new-look Yotes.
"Our identity has to change. We're a different group. You're talking about eight freshmen and sophomores. Seven guys that have never played here before, so our identity is going to be different. We don't want to go back to winning ten games from last year. That identity's got to change. We got to start building that winning culture back into this program like it was for the last 25 years," James said.
Returning to help is Preseason All-Summit League Trevor Gruis. The 6'9" senior from Ellsworth, Minnesota, averaged just over twelve points and six rebounds per game last season. He's taken a leadership role on the team this year as one of just two seniors on the squad.
"We got a lot of younger guys. We just need a leader to just be there for all the guys and just help them move forward and make sure I'm doing my part so I can hold them accountable as well as myself," Gruis said.
Gruis may not need to be at the top of the box score in points every night this year. According to Coach James, he says the team's strength is their ability to knock down shots.
The defense on the other hand is an area in need of improvement.
"We got to do a better job of just bottling guys up and giving them one shot and becoming a really good defensive rebounding basketball team," James said.