Demon basketball hits the floor with new look roster

The NSU Demons had to replace 99.9% of the offensive production from last year’s squad.
Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 10:06 PM CDT
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NATCHITOCHES, La. (KALB) - No team in Division 1 college basketball had the offseason quite like Northwestern State had.

The Demons had to replace 99.9% of the offensive production from last year’s squad that made it to the Southland Conference Tournament Championship game for the first time in a decade. NSU lost players to graduation and the transfer portal after Coach Corey Gispon accepted a job at Austin Peay.

In particular, Northwestern State had to replace the Southland Conference Player of the Year in Demarcus Sharp and the school’s single-season 3-point record holder in Ja’Monta Black.

Only one player returned from last year’s team, that player being Karlin Hardy.

First-year head coach Rick Cabrera is used to replenishing rosters during his time at Tallahassee Community College on the JUCO level, but he had to be intentional with the players he would accept into NSU. Coach Cabrera explored both the JUCO and D1 talent pool to compose his 2023-2024 roster.

“You have to recruit guys that have a position for your system,” said Cabrera. “I will never that that was the easy part because nothing is ever easy in college basketball, but we were able to find the right guys that fit what we need.”

One of the big-name transfers that came in was Anthony Thomas, a 6′7 guard from Kansas State. Thomas previously played with Cabrera at TCC before going to K-State for a year. Thomas has the ability to attack the rim and stretch the floor behind the arc.

However, one of the other highly sought-after recruits that Northwestern State got will not be suiting up for the Demons this season. Addison Patterson was a top 100 recruit out of high school and started his career at Oregon. Patterson followed Cabrera to NSU from TCC.

However, while playing for Team Canada over the summer, Patterson suffered an injury that required surgery that will cause him to miss the entirety of the season. Patterson will continue his rehab off campus but is expected to be back with the Demons for the following basketball season.

Northwestern State will open up the Rick Cabrera era at home Monday, Nov. 6, against Dallas Christian.

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