What’s next for the men’s hoops team?

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The UNC men’s basketball team poses with the CIT championship trophy after a win over UIC at Bank of Colorado Arena. Photo by Domenic Grey

Records were broken. Awards were received.
Jordan Davis has a pair of new posters to hang — and a herd of new twitter followers to appease.
A lot of jumpshots were made. And a few free throws were missed.
And in the end, a championship was won.
After a season that saw the UNC men’s basketball team set a school-record 26 wins, and Andre Spight score a Big Sky-record 855 points, there’s just one question left to ask.
What’s next?
Well, first thing first, the Bears will raise a banner in Bank of Colorado Arena and everyone will celebrate.
But eventually the candles will burn out and the party will end. And the Bears will have to get back in the gym.
Spight will be leaving, as well as big man Tanner Morgan, sixth-man Anthony Johnson and workhorse guard Tyler Loose.
Spight will take with him a handful of Big Sky records and accolades, and even more from UNC.
Morgan will take his 6’9, 230-pound frame and five years of college basketball experience.
Johnson will take a valuable scoring spark off the bench, and Tyler Loose will take his wealth of basketball knowledge.
To fill the void, a number of players are going to have to step up.
Davis will have to take on an even bigger role, along with sophomore Jonah Radebaugh, freshman Jalen Sanders and freshman big Matej Drgon.
But the key factor may be a pair that aren’t even enrolled at UNC.
Incoming freshman Bodie Hume and Sam Masten haven’t stepped onto the court in a Bears uniform yet, but they may be in line to follow the path Sanders set this year.
In his freshman campaign, Sanders played a huge role in the Bears CIT championship season.
He started 36 of UNC’s 38 games, averaging over 28 minutes and nine points on nearly 60 percent from the field.
Masten is a 6’3 point guard with a knack for getting to the basket.
He averaged 22.5 points, eight rebounds and 3.4 assists per game in his senior campaign, leading Rock Canyon to the Class 5A semifinal his senior year.
Masten is a three-star recruit and the top-ranked prospect in the state of Colorado according to Verbal Commit.
“Sam is an absolute winner on the court, and he’s the exact type of person from a character standpoint that we want to have representing our basketball program,” coach Jeff Linder said “We believe that he will help our program continue to rise to new levels of success during his career here.”
Joining Masten will be Sterling forward Bodie Hume.
Hume averaged 20 points, 6.6 rebounds and four assists in his senior campaign with the Tigers.
The 6’8 wing led Sterling to a state title his junior year and a third-place finish this year.
“Bodie is a big, athletic, skilled wing that can play multiple spots both on offense and defense,” Linder said. “And we truly believe he’s only scratching the surface of his potential.”
If next year’s team wants to live up to this one, it has some work to do.
And though a CIT championship is tough to top, an NCAA tournament berth would be a nice encore.

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