The 2014-15 college basketball season officially got under way last week with teams having their first official practices of the year. Our Twitter feed was full of teams sharing photos of the guys back on the court, working hard to get ready for the upcoming season and we couldn’t be happier.
In the month and a bit leading up to the season, we will be reaching out to NCAA coaches, players, and fellow bloggers to discuss different things going on around college hoops. We will look at what people are expecting for the 2014-15 season to get their opinions on a wide variety of topics.
Damon Sherman-Newsome, the senior guard from the Colgate Raiders, took some time out of his schedule to answer some questions we had for him. Newsome will be one of the leaders of the Raiders this season, who look poised to make some noise in the Patriot League this year. The Raiders have a strong team returning from last season, so look for Sherman-Newsome and the Raiders to be in contention come late-February.
We asked Damon a variety of questions, from growing up in Alaska to his personal and team predictions for the upcoming season, and everything in between.
Get to know Damon Sherman-Newsome, Colgate Raiders
Weight: 205 pounds
Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska
Favourite Food: Tacos
Favourite Movie: Do The Right Thing
Favourite Band/Artist: Kendrick Lamar
Favourite Athlete Outside of Basketball: Peyton Manning
Biggest Basketball Accomplishment to Date: High school state championship
CCR: First off, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for me. What was it that attracted you to Colgate out of Junior College?
DSN: I really thought that it would be a great opportunity to learn from some great young coaches as well as getting a very prestigious education. Also, being close to family in New York City was important.
CCR: Building off of that…in your opinion, what’s the biggest difference between playing at the JUCO level and at the Division I level?
DSN: The JUCO level is a lot less organized in comparison. It was similar to AAU for me. Everyone is still fighting for their Division I scholarship. At the Division I level, everyone is more focused on winning. Also, playing within a system and understanding your role is more important.
CCR: Do you feel that playing JUCO better prepared you for the competition at the NCAA level?
DSN: I think it definitely prepared me as far as understanding the grind of college basketball. The life in junior college is not nearly as comfortable in comparison to Division I. On the court, it got me ready for the speed and physicality of college basketball.
CCR: Growing up in Alaska, you had a successful high school career. What got you interested in basketball, and when did you first start playing?
DSN: My dad was very involved in basketball his entire life, and he was the one that got me started as soon as I was able to dribble a ball. It was something that I knew I was going to do at a young age.
CCR: What has it been like playing for a coach like Matt Langel at Colgate?
DSN: I’ve really enjoyed playing for Langel. He has really helped me improve my game. HE allows me to play in a way that emphasizes my strengths.
CCR: What are your personal expectations for yourself for the upcoming season, as well as your expectations for the Raiders as a whole?
DSN: I expect to continue to grow as a player and show that I can have an improved impact on both ends of the floor. As a team, I think we are ready to take the next step and fight to be at the top of the Patriot League by the end of the season.
CCR: If you had to describe this year’s Colgate Raiders team in one word, what would that word be?
CCR: “Together”, so looking at the ideas of a family, teamwork, and things along those lines?
CCR: Those are all the questions that I have! Thank you kindly for taking the time out of your night to answer some questions!
DSN: No problem.
CCR: Best of luck to you and your teammates this season.
Once again, I would like to personally thank Damon Sherman-Newsome for taking the time out of his pre-season preparations to answer the questions I had for him. While they weren’t the hard-hitting questions he will undoubtedly endure over the course of his career, they provide us with a bit more insight into the work that he puts in to be successful at the Division I level.
I wish Damon and his teammates the best of luck in the upcoming season, and wherever his basketball career will take him upon graduating from Colgate.