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Southwestern's 2011-12 men's basketball schedule was announced today by Head Coach Mike Holmes, and features contest against three Division I opponents, junior colleges in Nebraska and Missouri, and a Thanksgiving Tournament. Once again, Southwestern will challenge itself with Division I schools Iowa Western, Marshalltown, and State Fair. Around a grueling conference schedule, including home games against three teams that were nationally ranked last season (Kirkwood, Des Moines Area, and Iowa Central), Southwestern will travel to Nebraska twice to play Central Nebraska and Southeast Nebraska. The Spartans will also continue their home and home contests with North Central Missouri. See the schedule page for the full Southwestern basketball schedule for 2011-12.
For Southwestern, a versatile center is of paramount importance. Head Coach Mike Holmes was able to land such a center, but had to look West to find him. Devin Kastrup, a 6'8" center from Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs, brings inside and outside skill to the Spartans. Kastrup’s shooting touch first caught Holmes' attention, and then he later impressed with his inside ability to finish. Holmes said, "I was very pleased with the type of guy we were getting in this season, but we still really needed an impact center. We hit the jackpot with Devin. Not only can he score from anywhere, but I am impressed at what an exceptional passer he is."
The Southwestern Spartans are certainly bringing in players who have experienced success in high school. The latest signee is Delby Halcomb, a 5'10" guard from Dallas Center-Grimes High School. Halcomb qualified for the Iowa State Basketball Tournament for the second year in a row this season. Halcomb has a knack for floor leadership, and his intelligence for the game helped propel Dallas Center-Grimes to the final eight in class 3A. Ironically, Halcomb met another Southwestern recruit, Marcus Littleton from Norwalk, in the first round. Now the two will combine their abilities to attempt to help a large freshman class for the Spartans next season.
Photo (L to R): Sitting - Joel Rankin, Dallas Center-Grimes basketball coach, and Delby Halcomb; Standing - Lisa and Clayton Halcomb, Delby's parents
Patrick Wright, a 5'11" guard from Davenport West High School, signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Southwestern Spartans next season. Wright, who helped lead West to 18 regular season wins, is a lightning quick perimeter player who will give Southwestern a legitimate dribble attack player, as well as a defender who can guard penetration players.
"Patrick's high-school coach (Mark Bigler) is an old friend of mine who really knows what we are trying to do here," Southwestern Head Coach Mike Holmes said. "Coach Bigler had high praise for Patrick and what he could do for us."
After seeing Wright play, Holmes agreed. "I realized Patrick could bring an element to our program that we really needed to compliment this recruiting class," Holmes explained.