SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – On the campus of Morningside University, the Mustangs help its Winter Sports Media Day, featuring all of the school’s winter athletic programs including men’s and women’s basketball.
The Mustangs’ men’s team features a retooled roster with a familiar nucleus, as 2022-23 GPAC Coach of the Year Trent Miller brings back four starters as well as five of the team’s top six scorers.
Leading the way for the ‘Stangs is Ely Doble and Joey Skoff. Both were all-GPAC first-team choices last season. Sioux City native Aidan Vanderloo and point guard Jack Dotzler will be important pieces for Morningside, who was picked to win the GPAC in the Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
That may be more of a target on the team heading in as the favorite, but it’s not something Morningside is ducking.
“We’ve got a big target on our back. That’s the Morningside way, it’s always been like that. I think just staying focused on our goal of being the best team by the end of the year and seeing what happens,” Doble said.
“We have high goals. We want to win a national title. When you go to Morningside, that’s what these coaches talk about across the programs and in order to do that, you’ve got to play your best basketball come March. Our goal, as long as we can continue to progress toward March, that’s where we’ve got to be. We believe in the locker room and the guys that we have in that locker room, they believe in each other, and if they stay there we’ve got a chance,” Miller added.
Morningside men’s basketball kicks off the season at Waldorf on October 27th.
Now for the Mustangs women’s team, they were picked to finish seventh in the GPAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Morningside finished conference play with an 11-10 record.
The team’s lone all-conference choice in Sophia Peppers is gone after wrapping up her Mustangs career last season.
That will gibe some returning players on the roster an opportunity to step up, such as Chloe Lofstrom and Alexis Spier. The duo combined to score over 20 points per game last season.
A recipe for plenty of Mustangs to chip in toward the chance for a successful season.
“There’s not a lot of difference between the best five players and the last five players. Everyone is very similar in their level of talent. We’ve been going a little faster and the intensity has definitely increased,” Spier said.
“This year was supposed to be the year where we kind of rebuilt a little bit and play with some youth but I’ve really been pleasantly surprised in practices. They’ve went really well and we have a lot of depth. It’s just a matter of the youth and how quickly they pick it up. We play some good teams early in the year so we’re gonna kind of find out where we are,” Morningside head coach Jamie Sale mentioned.
The Mustangs women’s team begins its season at Kansas Wesleyan on Nov. 3rd.