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2021-22 Mens Basketball Team

New look Tigers hope to make another run at national tourney

Coming off one of the most successful seasons in the history of the Cowley College basketball program, the Tigers will hope to duplicate that success behind a new coach and several new faces.

Gone is Tommy DeSalme, the all-time winningest coach in the history of the program. Hired to replace DeSalme, was former Tiger assistant coach Donnie Jackson, who was highly sought after by a number of schools following a stellar eight-year run as head coach at Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa.

"It has been an easy transition being back at Cowley. I feel right at home," Jackson said.

The Tigers, which were picked to finish eighth out of 13 teams in the Jayhawk Conference, open the season by hosting Northern Oklahoma College-Enid at 7:30 p.m. Monday, November 1.

Jackson played and coached under DeSalme. He followed DeSalme to Cowley where as an assistant he helped lead the Tigers to 91 wins in his four years at the college. Cowley also captured a conference title and finished in the top three in the conference each of those four seasons (2010-2013). Another feather under Jackson's cap is that he went 11-5 against his former mentor, DeSalme, including winning the last four head-to-head matchups.

"I absolutely love being back at Cowley and am excited to see people in the stands," Jackson said.

Jackson hired Roybell Baez as his top assistant and together the duo have assembled a talented roster.

"Roybell brings high-energy to the team and we vibe very well," Jackson said. "I like the guys we have brought into the program. We have a good mix of freshmen and older guys. We hope the freshmen follow the lead of the older guys on the team."

Cowley has added several transfers including, NCAA Division I transfer Chris Spenkuch, Christian Williams, Mekhi Cameron, Xavier Valley, and Kennedy Willis.

"Those guys will add maturity to the team," Jackson said.

Cameron, a 6'4 guard from Atlanta and the son of former Major League Baseball standout Mike Cameron, and Xavier Washington, a 6'7 forward from Florida, are among the freshmen on the team that could make an immediate impact.

"Those two could end up playing big roles for us," Jackson said. "Faustin Phanor, a 6'10 freshman from Florida, could also provide us with rim protection."

Other freshmen on the team are, Emmanuel Austin, Trevion Alexander, Brock Wesley, and KJ Spiller.

"We are long and athletic and have a chance to be an exciting team," Jackson said. "We will play with a quick, controlled tempo."

The Tigers return Raishaun Brown and Clarence King, who were both key figures on last year's national runner-up squad. Brown averaged 6.4 points and 2.5 rebounds, while King averaged 5.2 points and shot 48.4 percent from the floor.

"Those two guys have been phenomenal," Jackson said. "They learned a lot under Coach (Tommy) DeSalme and their leadership has been special. I expect both guys to take on bigger roles this season as we will lean on their experience of playing in the Jayhawk Conference."

Cowley will play six non-conference games before opening its 24-game Jayhawk Conference schedule.

"Our non-conference games will challenge us on a variety of fronts," Jackson said. "We could struggle early on with learning how to play together, but I won't judge our early season successes or failures. We want to be competitive when it matters most, come region tournament time."