Seattle U
Courtesy Western Athletic Conference.

2023-24 Team Preview: Seattle U Men’s Basketball

The Seattle U men’s basketball team has been pretty good under Chris Victor. 23 wins. A WAC regular season title. Multiple All-WAC performers.

About the only thing that has been missing is that elusive trip to the NCAA Tournament.

That’s not to say Seattle U hasn’t had its chances the past two seasons. In 2021-22, the Redhawks were the 2-seed at the WAC Tournament and got a bye to the semifinals. However, the Redhawks couldn’t knock down a key shot late in a 2-point loss to ACU.

In 2022-23, the Redhawks were the 4-seed and just happened to run into a red hot GCU team. It should also be mentioned this was a GCU squad that the Redhawks held to a season-low 54 points at GCU Arena two weeks earlier.

Despite 27 points from Cam Tyson, the Redhawks season came to a close a little earlier than expected.

Can the Redhawks get over the hump? It has been 54 years since Seattle U has gone to the NCAA Tournament in men’s basketball. That seems like an impressive streak to snap.

With some key returners, one of which is one of the best scorers in the WAC, could 2023-24 be the year?

Here is the preview of the Seattle U Redhawks.

Cam Tyson returns for one last run with the Seattle U Redhawks. Courtesy Western Athletic Conference.

Head Coach

Chris Victor, third season

2022-23 Record

20-12 overal/11-7 WAC

Postseason

Lost in WAC Quarterfinals to GCU

Returners

  • Cam Tyson – 6’3, Redshirt Senior
  • Alex Schumacher – 6’3, Senior
  • Brandton Chatfield – 6’10, Redshirt Junior
  • Kobe WIlliamson – 6’8, Junior
  • Paris Dawson – 6’2, Junior
  • Vaz Pandža – 6’8, Junior
  • Viktor Rajković – 6’6, Junior
  • Seyi Reiley – 6’6, Senior
  • Matthew Levis – 6’1, Junior

Newcomers

  • John Christofilis – 6’3, Redshirt Sophomore, Transfer from Creighton
  • Jazel Brown – 6’1, Freshman
  • William Heimbrodt – 6’7, Freshman
  • Malek Gomma – 6’8, Freshman

Departures

  • Riley Grigsby
  • Emeka Udenyi
  • Anjaylo Lloyd
  • Dominiq Penn

Outlook

One of the top scorers on the West Coast returns for Chris Victor. Hometown favorite Cam Tyson is back for another run after testing the NBA Draft waters this offseason. Tyson averaged just over 18 points per game in 2022-23, second in the WAC. The quick trigger and ability to knock down a shot from anywhere on the floor make Tyson as dangerous as they come.

Alex Schumacher returns after playing some big minutes in 2022-23. Schumacher had to fill some big shoes left by Darrion Trammell and he did it pretty well. In 2023-24, Schumacher will have to take on an even bigger role with the departure of Riley Grigsby. Schumacher averaged 12 points per game and led the team in assists. Look for that scoring number to rise with the increased role.

Seattle U has had a Big 3 it seems like every single year. Two years ago it was Riley Grigsby, Darrion Trammell and Cam Tyson. Last season, it was Grigsby, Tyson, and Alex Schumacher. In 2023-24, there are a combination of ways the Redhawks could have a Big 2. Along with Tyson and Schumacher, could it be Paris Dawson? Maybe Viktor Rajković. Vaz Pandža at 6’8 is a possibility after returning from an injury in 2022-23.

However, there might be a newcomer that fills that role. Creighton transfer and hometown kid John Christofilis is a name to remember. Christofilis is fresh off an injury that derailed his 2022-23 season. However, the potential to breakout, knock down shots from the perimeter and attack are going to be on full display.

Seattle U has arguably the most returners in the WAC in 2023-24. Chris Victor lost two guys in Riley Grigsby and Emeka Udenyi who were starters their entire time in a Redhawk uniform. But, three of four starters return. One of the best scorers in the WAC returns. And keep an eye on Brandton Chatfield as a player with potential to have a breakout season in 2023-24.

Could Paris Dawson step into that Big 3 spot alongside Alex Schumacher and Cam Tyson for Seattle U? Courtesy Western Athletic Conference.

Schedule News

Rocco Miller put out that Seattle U will go to VCU in November. That goes along with two games in the WAC/C-USA Alliance when Seattle U hosts Louisiana Tech on Dec. 20 and heads to UTEP on Dec. 30. That UTEP game is intriguing because if you remember…it was Seattle U who was the only team to beat the 1966 Texas Western Miners. Yep, the good old ‘Glory Road’ days.

Chris Victor said the Redhawks are close to finishing the full schedule and it should be out in a week or two.

One thing to note…Seattle U opens WAC play on Nov. 29 in Orem at Utah Valley. If you know the history between those two schools, at least recently, this game will come down to the wire. Last year, it was Riley Grigsby who hit the big shot to win in Orem. Three years ago, in Seattle, it was Trey Woodbury who hit the game-winner as time expired. This series is entertaining, to say the least.

 

 

About the author

Kyle McDonald

Love everything about WAC Hoops so decided I wanted to write more about it and cover this amazing conference that just keeps getting better. Follow us on Twitter @wachoopsdigest for information, game analysis and much more.

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