Senior night tonight against the Toledo Rockets. You never know what you're going to get out of the Huskies, so let's just focus on these two seniors that will be honored tonight.
Memphis native Najul Ervin came to the Huskies after averaging one year at Kankakee CC, where he averaged 4.8 pts and 5.8 rpg for the Cavs. He was always supposed to be a defensive specialist for the Huskies. Memphis is a hotspot for Huskie recruiting where Ervin played his AAU ball. Jul's father is even an assistant coach at incoming freshman Nate Rucker's Melrose high school.
His career peaked during last season, where he would see almost 20 min per game, compared to just over 10 this season. Also, his possessions have been cut way, way down for some reason.
I just can't believe that in a season that were were lacking so much defense, that Najul would sit this much on the bench. He only started 8 games this year, compared to 26 last year. It's just one of those weird things that I don't think we'll ever figure out. Most of his playing time went to former walk-ons Lee Fisher and Michael Fakuade to mixed results.
Ante Dzepina came to the Huskies by way of Highland CC in Kansas, where he averaged 6 pts and 6.1 rpg for the Cougars. Originally, he's from Kraljevica, Croatia and has continued to learn the English language better these past couple years.
Just like Najul, Ante has seen his minutes decrease this year as well. Sean Kowal stepped up his game this year as the big man and Patton really liked smaller lineups.
Both of these seniors seeing less minutes this year is a sign that Patton is building for the future of the program. Yes, he does recruit JUCOs. He had to get more bodies in there as he was trying to recruit and develop his team. It's hard to have Ervin in there, if he's never going to see the ball on the offensive end of things. It lets defenses key on you too easily. It's hard to have Ante in there, because his big body is going to have a tough time in transition. With Silas & Nixon coming in, you knew there was going to be some changes.
It's just a shame that we weren't able to see their best years this year. Both will major in Communications.