Finishing Strong: New Coach Joe Schaumburg and His Team Show Promise For Next Season
The 2019-2020 season for the Linn-Benton Roadrunners men’s basketball team finished this past weekend, ending a roller coaster first season for head coach Joe Schaumburg. From explosive plays to losing personnel, this season had its ups and downs for many reasons, but with the tools at hand, Coach Schaumburg had a successful season in his first year ever coaching collegiate basketball. The Roadrunners finished their season at 11-19 overall with a 5-11 record in the southern division, sitting at seventh in the rankings. While this is certainly a drop from last year’s top four postseason team, this team had lots of talent that could be seen in flashes, but failed to stay consistent.
Common themes hurt the Roadrunners in various games. The team had strong first halves, before fumbling leads in the second half. One game that comes to mind is their physically-played home game against the Umpqua RiverHawks late in the season, where they found themselves behind by only two at the half against one of the best teams in the NWAC, before stumbling and failing to match their speed. Their strong start to the season was met with a brick wall when conference play started, as the team endured a December away from home where many players did not return to the team, leaving players and coaches to improvise.
One player that emerged from this sudden improvisation is freshman point guard Kyree Davis, who averaged 17 points, five rebounds, and three assists per game. Davis led the charge and proved to be a leader of the team, despite not playing during his senior year of high school. His power and hustle was matched in the backcourt by Kadeem Nelson, the 6’2” shooting guard from Portland. Nelson averaged 14 points per game, and is an offensive threat every night.
If both return for their sophomore year, the Roadrunners could build off of this season and become a threat. In their final contest, the Roadrunners topped the Mt. Hood Saint Bernards 77-74. This game was a prime example of the Runners talented backcourt, with Davis recording 15 points and Nelson recording 31. Nelson was able to get to the free throw line ten total times, making nine of the shots.
The game was a great finish against a respectable opponent, and showcased all of the best parts about the team. It was a team of almost all freshman, some of which left, and it made for many games of three-man bench rotations. Through it all, the team showed grit and toughness down the stretch and refused to back down to anyone. Leaders rose, players prevailed, and nobody should be ashamed of the final record. Coach Schaumburg showed that he can coach at the next level, and it will be exciting to see what he does with a team of talented sophomores next season.
Story by Cam Hanson