Men’s basketball looking to rebound in second half

Ryan Vermont, Staff Writer

The De Anza College men’s basketball season has had a mixture of ups and downs as it reached the midway point of the season last Friday.

After back-to-back appearances in the CCCAA state playoffs, the team was looking forward to another strong year, led by head coach Jason Damjanovic, currently in his tenth season coaching the team.

“I had higher expectations overall,” Damjanovic said. Although the team currently holds a 6-11 record,

Damjanovic said that De Anza has one of the harder schedules in California, and that the beginning of the season games have prepared his team for the conference schedule.

The Dons lost a couple of their best players at the end of last season, so the ‘14-’15 team has had to rally amongst each other as new leaders arose.

The head coach said that this year’s team relies on a full group effort, although he did mention players who stood out.

“Nate Vierra is the quarterback of our offense…. We go as he goes,” said Damjanovic. He also mentioned the leading scorer of the team, D.J Rodriguez who provides much needed scoring.

Freshman forward Daniel Paulson, broke his hand early in the season and made his return on Wednesday Jan. 14.

“Things could be going better,” he said. Paulson said the team took things for granted in the first half of the season.

”I think the conference games will inspire the team in the second half of the season,” said Paulson.

Damjanovic said he wished the team could have a couple more wins,  but the team is coachable and it is fun being at every practice.

The second half of the season features matchups between conference foes. The biggest matchup for De Anza will be neighboring city rival San Jose City College who they played last Friday Jan. 16.

Damjanovic said this was a big game because of the impact this could have on his team’s season.

He said that San Jose City is the strongest team in the conference, but will be looking for a good showing against the Jaguars.