Briar Cliff men rely on young talent - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

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Briar Cliff men rely on young talent

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Freshman Shane Graves (#5) and Austin Lefler practice during Briar Cliff's media day on Thursday. Freshman Shane Graves (#5) and Austin Lefler practice during Briar Cliff's media day on Thursday.

The Briar Cliff men's basketball team competitive last season, going 19-12 overall and 10-10 in the GPAC.

The Chargers probably have the youngest team in the conference this season, with no seniors and four freshman on the varsity roster. Sophomore Clayton Harreld is the leading returning scorer, after putting in eight points per game.

Only four guys played varsity minutes, including 6'7" junior Ricky Torres of Denison, Iowa.

"I think we're just pushing each other every day and getting better," said Torres. "Everyone knows there's a spot there and everyone's going after it."

Two of the freshman who should contribute right away are guards Shane Graves from Bishop Heelan, and Austin Lefler from Lawton-Bronson.

The young players will be tested quickly with 11 games in November.

"With a group of freshman and sophomores, who are as talented as we think they are, we don't know what that's going to mean in two weeks but we know if those guys stick together as we go over the course of time, not just this year and the following years, we think it's got a chance to be a pretty special group," said Briar Clifff head coach Nic Nelson.

"High school basketball to college basketball is a totally different game," said Lefler. "There's so much to learn but I'm embracing the process. I think all of us freshman are and we're taking it head on and we're excited."

Briar Cliff was picked 8th in the GPAC preseason poll. The home opener is November 8th against Ashford.

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