To prepare for the tip-off of another great year of college basketball, CHD is reaching out to coaches and players around the country to get the inside scoop on what we can expect this time around. Jon Teitel continues our season preview series by chatting with Northwestern State PF DeQuan Hicks about being one of the most efficient scorers in the country.
Your non-conference road schedule includes trips to Auburn, LSU, Memphis, and Baylor. Which of these four games do you feel will present your biggest test? Respectfully, no one team trumps the rest. Each team demands to be looked at differently. They all present unique challenges within themselves that we will have to overcome.
What are your expectations for the upcoming season? Every year, I set high expectations for both my team and myself. This year, I would like to see us make a deeper run into the NCAA Tournament.
You play for Coach Mike McConathy; What makes him such a good coach and what is the most important thing that you ever learned from him? Basketball is more than just a game to him. He really cares about you as a person. The most important thing he has ever taught me it to appreciate what I have been blessed with because there is always someone out there who has less. He also taught me that head coaches should never cook if they have not taken cooking lessons!
In 2013, you were named Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year. How were you able to come in and contribute right from the start? The offense we use (including the style of play) was something I was already familiar with, so it just made it comfortable for me to pick it up right away. The one thing I was able to contribute was the energy it took to fuel our will to win.
In the 2013 Southland tourney title game, you scored 13 points and intercepted a long pass in the final seconds of a two point win over Stephen F. Austin. How did you set up the defense on the final play and what was the feeling like in your locker room afterward? Coach put us in a great position to guard them in the timeout and told me to stand my ground in the middle of the floor to make a defensive play. Afterwards in the locker room, I felt as though I had finally accomplished something. It was a goal that many players set (including myself) but very few actually achieve. For the team as a whole, it was a party in the locker room!
You finished the year second in the nation with 28.7 PTS per 40 minutes. How were you able to lead your team in scoring (14.1 PPG) despite only playing 20 minutes a game and only being in the starting lineup three times? I just refer back to my energy when I was in the game and the will to win. My teammates also contributed by the faith they put in me.
You also ranked 10th in the country with 58.6 FG%. What is your secret for being a great shooter? The first thing is having a PG like Jalan West with his high basketball IQ. The second is the confidence I have that when I take a shot I know it is going into the basket. Last but not least, the offense we run contributes a major part to my success.
You have a birthday coming up next month. What are you going to do for the big day? I will treat it like any other day of the week. Because of basketball I have prioritized the upcoming competition before my birthday. This year I will go to practice and begin the preparation for our game against Louisiana-Monroe.