By Eli Jordan 

McPherson College basketball has kicked off with an 84-76 win over Oklahoma Panhandle State for the men, and a 73-56 win over Peru State for the women.  

   For the men, this season is going to be led by a young Bulldog team, after losing five seniors who all played significant minutes last season. Owen Braxmeyer, Christian Aguillard, and Antonio Watson all return as significant players from last season. They have gotten off to a hot start. 2-0 at the time of writing, the men’s team wants to better last season’s seventh place conference finish, and they want to make it deeper than two rounds in the KCAC tournament.  

  Braxmeyer finished last season with 124 points averaging 5.9 per game, and so far this year he has tripled that, averaging 15 points per game thus far. Aguillard comes in with 228 points last season, averaging 7.6. Through two games his average is slightly higher at 8. Watson has earned his first starts this year. Coming off the bench last season, Watson racked up 64 points averaging 2.6, and he has quadrupled that, now averaging 8 points so far.  

  For the women’s team, the biggest hurdle they will have to overcome is replacing the play of Brittany Roberts, but this veteran Bulldog squad is poised to make it happen. Returning two significant time players from last year’s squad, Dy’mond McElrath and Madelyn Hankins are the leaders on this year’s starting five. A three-year starter for the Bulldogs, McElrath averaged 8.6 points through her career. If one game is anything to tell she will be trying to double it, after a 15-point performance against Peru State. Hankins has been with the Bulldogs since last season, and was an on and off starter last year, starting 19 of 30 games. She averaged 7.8 points last season and is looking to be better than that this year. 

  A 12-12 KCAC performance last year had the Bulldogs in eighth place and had a second-round tournament exit. This team is looking to further those stat lines in the 2022-2023 season