New head coach Joe White has jumpstarted Lane to a 3-0 run but men’s basketball conference play will not open until early December when the games will likely become more competitive. Although three straight wins is impressive, these games have been promotional games to warm up for future challengers.

The season tipped off against Pacific University Junior Varsity Nov. 20 at Lane’s home court.

Starting guard Tarik Cool led the home team in points with 28, followed by Rodney Hounshell’s 25. Lane managed to sink most of their shots finishing with a 57.7 percent field goal average. The Titans showed they can play as a team with a total of 30 assists to Pacific University’s 10.

Titan guard Tarik Cool beats a double team during the Titan Alumni game on Nov. 24. Cool has established himself as a prolific scorer in early season play, averaging over 23 points per game over the Titans’ first five games. (Jason Petorak // The Torch)

The Titans showed promise with 21 steals and 21 defensive rebounds, but were still called for 29 personal fouls. With a 27-point victory it did not seem like any number of fouls could slow Lane down. According to White a lot of this could be attributed to the excitement of the young season and finding their focus. Coming together as a team effort the Titans won 115-88.

After the season opener, the Titans beat Lane’s alumni 112-87. The team of alumni were comprised of players from the previous 15 years. “We are grateful for each and everyone of those guys who came out and played,” White said.

Freshman forward Cody Mathis fouls a Titan basketball alumni during their game on Nov. 24. The Titans have dominated their early season competition, notching an undefeated 5-0 record going into the Dale Bates Tournament on Dec. 7. (Selina Scott // The Torch)

Titans won at home against Willamette Junior Varsity, putting up an onslaught of points. Lane outplayed their opponents 122-47 Nov. 26.

While as a team the players are focused on taking it “one day at a time,” many players have set personal goals to achieve this season.

“My personal goal is to be the defensive player of the NWAC,” Hounshell said. He is climbing to his goal currently at nine rebounds and six steals after the three opening games.

This will be Hounshell’s first season with the team after transferring from Western Oregon University. After last year’s losing record of 12-16 Hounshell looks to turn that around. “That’s not going to happen here, I’m all about winning,” Hounshell said.

Hounshell isn’t the only player with a mindset on winning this season.

“The goal is always to win championships,” Cool said. Cool is leading the team with 68 points after three games. Coming from Utah, a Division 2 school, Cool is having a great start to his first year with Lane.

“We were extremely unselfish throughout the entire night,” head coach White said. White was pleased with his team’s coachability and ability to make adjustments as needed. “I thought guys were being really good teammates and I was real pleased with how engaged our bench was.”

Joe White, head coach, paces back and forth on the sidelines as the Titans play defense during the second quarter of the game against Lane Alumni on Nov. 24. White served as assistant head coach during the 2017-2018 season and was promoted to the top job earlier this year. (Selina Scott // The Torch)

This is Coach White’s first season as head coach, but second season with the team. However, White is not new to the NWAC. Before White coached for Lane he coached for three years as an assistant for Tacoma.

This is White’s first head coaching position. White shows up everyday with a high level of enthusiasm to the court that his players feed off of. “He’s more high energy I think,” Cool said. “He just brings that every single day.”