Keaton Wallace drives to the basket around the St. Edwards defense. Photo by Lindsey Thomas

The UTSA men’s basketball team will begin their 2019-20 season on Oct. 30 in the Convocation Center against the Texas A&M International University Dustdevils.

The Roadrunners will welcome back seven of their players from the 2018-19 season, including stand-outs Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace. With a predominantly upperclassman team, the ‘Runners will be focusing on the Conference-USA championship.

“We got a lot of our scorers and talent back,” head coach Steven Henson said. “We do have quite a few newcomers as well, but we are putting a big emphasis on defensive rebounding right now.”

The ‘Runners are welcoming five newcomers to the team this season with multiple freshmen and junior college transfers.

“The two guards will bring something different to the team,” Henson said. “You’re going to have some great days and some tough days too.”

The team’s goals have remained consistent from last season, competing in the C-USA tournament and ultimately winning a championship.

“We’ve got so much talent. We want to be competing for a conference championship,” Henson said. “We want to compete for regular season Conference-USA championship, which is more difficult than the conference tournament.”

The ‘Runners will face the University of Oklahoma early this season before settling into a streak of small school matchups prior to their C-USA debut against the Florida Atlantic University Owls.

“It’s always the next one,” Henson said. “This is the third year we are playing Oklahoma, and they have a lot of excitement around their program, but then the next one will be the most important game at that point.”

After saying goodbye to multiple crucial players last season, the ‘Runners are looking to incorporate their new players into their routines to achieve their conference goals.

“We have recruited high-character guys, and it makes it a pretty easy transition for the new guys coming in,” Henson said. “We have a pretty diverse group. We have some international students, some Texas kids and kids from all over the country, but our culture is good right now. The returners have done a great job of helping those new guys feel comfortable.”

The ‘Runners will be facing the Dustdevils at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30, for their season premiere in the Convocation Center.

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