When the New Hope Christian College men’s basketball team takes the floor during this Friday night’s game against Montana State Northern, it will be a much different-looking team than Deacon fans saw a year ago. With just one returning player from last year’s Deacon team which finished third in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Tournament, first year head coach Mark Holmes’s team comes into the season with an inexperienced, freshman-heavy team.
Holmes knows with such a young team, he’ll have to be very patient as his young team learns to play together and at the college level. Coach Holmes comes to New Hope Christian College after spending seven years as an Assistant Coach at Northwest Christian University and a player with Northwest Christian University, winning back-to-back National Championships in 1997-1998.
“It is going to be a challenge. I’ve talked about this a bunch, but young men learn in different ways,” Holmes said. “It’s hard to tell that when you go watch guys at the high school level. They’re all going to learn; it’s just a matter of how quickly.”
“We won’t lower expectations because we lost the majority of players. We have to expect the new players to step up; it’s their time now,” he said. “I hope these young men are hungry. We want everyone in our program to be hungry.”
Back this year for the Deacons will also be the exciting and exuberant “D” Crew featuring the most supportive student body in the area. “One of the reasons I chose to coach here at New Hope was their excitement and support of the school and its athletic programs,” states Coach Holmes. “We will need the ‘D’ Crew to be loud this weekend as we begin our exciting season against Montana State Northern on Friday night and Masters College on Saturday.”