The UNH men’s basketball team will welcome the Curry College Colonels into Durham on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. to kick off their 2019-2020 season.
The Wildcats will be looking to improve upon a lowly 5-24 record from last season. Last year’s squad only averaged 60.1 points per game and surrendered an average of 68.6 points per game to opponents. The team ranked last in the America East Conference last season in points, and eighth in point differential per game, only finishing ahead of UVM in that category.
The team also finished last in the conference in field goal percentage at 37.6. However, their struggles didn’t quite make it all the way out to the three-point line, as UNH ranked second in the conference in three-pointers made with an average on nine per game. While the team was able to convert a high number of threes, they didn’t share the same consistent success from the free-throw line. UNH ranked last in the conference with a free-throw percentage of 61.
Only two seniors were on the roster last season, which would normally bode well for a team’s chemistry the following season just because of the consistency with personnel. However, this year could be different. UNH lost guard Jordan Reed, their leading scorer from a year ago, to graduation. Reed averaged 10.4 points per game, leading the team, while also ranking 24th in the conference in scoring. The guard also ranked 15th in the America East last season in three pointers made.
UNH has a trio of sophomores who could each make sizeable impacts on a team looking for an identity. One of these sophomores is 6-foot-3-inch guard Marque Maultsby. He averaged 5.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in his first season. Maultsby is an athletic guard who impacts the game in many aspects; he ranked second on the team in assists, third in steals, sixth in scoring, and had the fifth most minutes on the team in his first year.
6-foot-5-inch forward Nick Guadarrama is another stand-out sophomore that knows how to stuff the stat sheet. The sophomore’s 7.8 points per game gave him the fourth highest average on the team last season. He was also the leading rebounder on the team, came in second in steals and third in blocks.
UNH forward Jayden Martinez stands 6-foot-7-inches and is the last of the skilled sophomores that made an impact in their first year. He is one of the most efficient players on the team along with Guadarrama. Guadarrama and Martinez led the team in field goal percentage last year among players who are returning to the team this season. Martinez also finished third on the team in scoring, first in blocks and second in rebounding.
These three sophomores will be players to keep an eye on throughout the winter. The team’s 31 game slate kicks off with two home games against Curry College and Holy Cross before they head on the road and don’t return until just before Thanksgiving.