D.J. Cole, one of three seniors on the YSU men’s basketball team, returns for his third consecutive season as the Penguins starting point guard. The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder from Olathe, Kansas took time to discuss the team during Monday’s media day.
How has your role on the team been elevated from last season to this season?
Cole: “The big thing about this team is that we need a voice. For us older guys, we’ve seen guys go through here like Ashen Ward and Kendrick Perry. I’ve learned a lot from them, and I’m just trying to instill what they taught me and try to do other things that I’ve learned and push everybody to get better.”
How have the nine newcomers fit in so far?
Cole: “They’re adjusting really well. They come to me with questions, and I’ll open up to them — they’re open and we’re a real open as a team. Shawn [Amiker], Bobby [Hain] and Fletcher [Larson] have done the same thing. We’ve talked about this since the summer how we have to get everybody to be all in and on the same page.”
What is going to be the biggest challenge for the team as training camp continues?
Cole: “The biggest thing is going to be our defensive schemes. We’re going to be a good offensive team for sure, but if we lock in on defense and get our key assignments and know where guys are supposed to be and all that, we should be able to be a great team.”