Overall Record: 11-20
Summit League Record (Finish): 6-10 (6th)
Postseason: Ineligible until 2015-16 (reclassifying to NCAA Division I)
2013-14 QUICK GLANCE
Head Coach (Season): Derrin Hansen (9th)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 8/3
Starters Returning/Lost: 4/1
Men's Basketball Page | Schedule | Roster
Web Page: omavs.com
"We are excited about the year this year. We do return a lot of players, which is a lot different than last year. Plus, going around the league one time and seeing the places we play. The level of the league which is really good will be advantageous to us as well because every night was different, it was a new team every night, someone we hadn't seen. Hopefully, the second time around it will be a little more familiar to us. We're excited to see once it all plays out where we can end up in the league. … I think we've made some strides, I think our talent level in the last two or three years has gotten better. And then once you put the familiarity of the league in there I think that helps us. Having the returning players, will be a big benefit to us this year. It has shown in our practices. I think we are a little bit deeper than we have been in the past. I think that is one progression we have made. Our practices have been more competitive so hopefully that leads to some better results as the games approach. I like our progression to this point. I think we did a little bit last year in the league but we are hoping to do more. Those are our goals and that's what we are trying to get to as we move forward." – Head coach Darrin Hansen
G Justin Simmons (16.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.2 spg, 0.6 bpg, All-Summit League second team, Summit League All-Newcomer team); C John Karhoff (12.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.4 apg, 0.7 bpg); G CJ Carter (9.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.1 spg); G Alex Phillips (8.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.7 spg)
SUMMIT LEAGUE PRESEASON POLL
All-League Selection: Justin Simmons (1st)
Athlon Sports: 5th
Blue Ribbon: 4th
Lindy's Sports: 7th
NBC Sports Talk: 6th
Sporting News: 4th
USA Today: 7th
Entering its second year of Summit League play, the Omaha men's basketball team looks to continue its climb up the conference. In 2012-13, Omaha posted an overall record of 11-20 with six league wins. With four out of five starters back and eight letterwinners returning, the Mavericks are set to challenge in a conference that is no longer full of unknowns.
All-Summit guard Justin Simmons returns for his senior season after averaging a team-leading 16.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game in 2012-13. He leads a corps of four returning starters, joined by senior center John Karhoff (12.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.4 apg), senior guard Alex Phillips (8.2 ppg), and junior guard CJ Carter (9.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.8 apg).
"With Justin, John and CJ, we have three scorers who averaged in double figures," head coach Derrin Hansen said. "Our four returning starters have not only proven to be good Division I players, they've also shown solid leadership."
Senior forward Matt Hagerbaumer, senior guard Caleb Steffensmeier and sophomore guard Marcus Tyus had significant time off the bench last season. And Omaha's two redshirts -- Jalen Bradley and transfer Mike Rostampour -- are ready to push for time this year. Rostampour came to UNO from St. Cloud State, while Bradley was a product of Norfolk High School, where he left as the fifth-best scorer in Nebraska Class A history.
"Mike and Jalen have both had productive summers, and they're ready to get in the mix," Hansen said. "Jalen was a proven scorer in high school, and Mike will bring energy, toughness and intensity to the floor that will be fun for our fans to watch."
The Mavericks have three newcomers in junior transfer forward Jake White from Wichita State, sophomore transfer guard Devin Patterson from New Mexico Junior College and freshman Rylan Murry from West Branch High School in Iowa. Per NCAA rules, White will sit out this season, but he brings a wealth of experience after playing on a Shocker squad that went to the NCAA Final Four.
"Devin can guard the ball over 94 feet, he's a capable shooter, and he's a leader from the point," Hansen said. "Rylan is 6-8 and a very good shooter; he'll remind people of (former Maverick) Alex Welhouse. He can find the open shooter, and he has great passing ability, especially for a big man."
With a strong non-conference schedule in place and the Summit League regular season ahead, Hansen is optimistic about what 2013-14 can bring.
"Our schedule continues to challenge our team," Hansen said. "Notably this year we're starting a home-and-home series with Nevada, and we'll visit a couple of Big Ten venues with non-conference games at Minnesota and Iowa. Our fans will also have a chance to get a look at the newest member of our league, Denver.
"We're excited about the upcoming season. This is the most depth we've had since turning Division I, and that makes for more competitive practices and better gameday performances. Overall, we're more familiar with the Summit League now, and 2013-14 has the potential to be a big year for our program."