Another exciting season of Salt Lake Community College men’s basketball is fast approaching.
The Bruins won the NJCAA National Championship just two years ago, and this year’s squad is poised to make another deep run in the tournament.
SLCC will be led by head coach Todd Phillips, who enters his seventh season at the helm. The Bruins return three players that received All-Region 18 honors last year: Christian Gray, who was a first-team selection, and Dalven Brushier and Isaiah White, who each received honorable mentions.
Gray, a 6-foot-6 forward, looks to build upon last year’s success. SLCC assistant coach Collin Terry says Gray has improved and matured during the offseason.
“I think he could be our leading scorer this year and has a chance to be conference player of the year,” he says.
Gone are Cole Kessler, Keanu Peters, lllia Antonenko and TJ Oliver. The Bruins also lost Matt Conway to NCAA Division I University at Albany (New York). But as one of the top junior college programs in the country, SLCC attracts a multitude of talent.
Terry says the new additions that could make a big impact this upcoming season include point guard Jordan Gilliam; forward Brandon Willardson, who just returned from an LDS mission; Alec Monson, a transfer from the University of Portland; and 6-foot-9 forward Kur Kuath, a transfer from Western Wyoming Community College who is already getting looks from major universities.
Terry believes the Bruins have a bright future this year.
“We are going to have a really competitive, good team,” he says. “I don’t think it’s a stretch to say we could compete for a national championship again.”
The Bruins will host the SLCC Jamboree on Saturday, Oct. 21 in the Lifetime Activities Center at Taylorsville Redwood Campus. This will be the first of seven tournaments the team plays in before their first conference game at Utah State University Eastern on Jan. 6, 2018.
Visit the SLCC Bruins website for more on the men’s basketball team.