The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Two standout freshmen lead Vaqueros into next season

Isabelle Sinibaldi
From left, freshman Tejon Williams and Evan Tillman lead the Vaquero’s men’s basketball team this season in points per game on Saturday, Feb. 20, in the Sports Pavilion. Williams averages 15.3 points per game and Tillman averages 15.5.

An emerging dynamic duo from the freshman dominant City College men’s basketball team are determined to capitalize on the team’s potential next season.

The emerging 6-foot-8 inch forward Evan Tillman, from Sacramento, California and 6-foot-1 guard Tejon Williams from Lancaster, California are two of 11 freshman on the 12 man roster for the Vaqueros. Tillman leads the team in scoring this season with 15.5 points per game and Williams is second, averaging 15.3.

City College finished the season with an overall record of 8-18 and went 3-9 in the Western State Conference North Division. Despite ending with a losing record, the players are confident in the team’s talent as 11 of the current players could all potentially return next season along with this years’ redshirt freshmen.

“I think next year we’re going to be a scary team to deal with, the chemistry with the team has gotten to a high level and now we all have a year of college ball experience,” said Williams. “The tough losses we had this season were valuable experiences, so now we know what it takes.”

Story continues below advertisement

The Vaqueros showed a glimpse of their potential towards the end of the season in their 85-80 upset win over the Cuesta Cougars (19-9, 9-3), who were ranked number one at the time.

“This time as a team we collectively moved the ball really well, the shots were falling down, we played some good defense, we were just able to put it all together that game,” said Tillman. “We all wanted to get a win over them really bad.”

Williams lead the team with 28 points and 16 rebounds, while Tillman added 21 points and six rebounds in the victory. The young team shot 45 percent from field goal range, 46 percent from beyond the arc and 81 percent from the line, outshooting Cuesta in all three aspects.

“We played to our capabilities that night, particularly in the first half,” said head coach Morris Hodges. “We played defense and we we’re able to score the ball.”

All four of the Vaqueros conference losses either went into overtime or were decided by five points or less. The coaching staff and players knew where they fell short on these occasions and will emphasis their focus on the weaknesses that contributed to those losses.

Tillman describes how at times the team can play a little selfish, explaining that they need to play more for each other and to each other’s strengths.

“We needed to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and help each other out there,” he said. “Overall, we needed to play defense better.”

Hodges agreed that the team’s biggest issue was the defense.

“Our problems were never offensive, our Achilles heel all season was defense and we had issues boxing out,” said Hodges. “Those will be focal points for next year.”

When asked about the duos capability, Hodges described the two “multi facet” players.

“[Williams] has been playing the point guard position for us so he’s been our primary ball handler, we trust him with the ball,” Hodges said. “And Evan has a good back to the buck and can shoot from inside and out from the perimeter. They’re both good free throw shooters. They both have good skill sets given their position and both embody a lot of potential.”

The team could have a high ceiling next season if they commit on a high level and take what they learned from their lessons from this year, said Hodges.


More to Discover