Southeast Missouri State University student publication

SEMO Men’s Basketball Team Chasing Rings in the 2023-24 Season

Friday, October 20, 2023
SEMO junior guard (3) Aquan Smart sizes up a Tennessee State defender during the Redhawks 92-75 victory last season on Jan. 26 at the Show-Me Center. Smart started 25 of 32 games in 2022-23, averaging 7.4 points and finishing second on the team in steals per game, with 1.5.
Photo by Isaiah Collins

After a historic 2022-23 season which ended in a play-in game for a spot in March Madness, the SEMO men’s basketball looks to make noise once again this year.

With head coach Brad Korn returning for his 4th season with the Redhawks, the team mindset is to chase a championship in the OVC.

“Our locker room mindset is to chase two rings this year, we want to take not only the regular season title, but also the OVC tournament title,” said Junior guard Aquan Smart.

Smart was second on the team last season, in steals, averaging 1.5 per game, also starting 25 of 32 contests.

The team looks to move forward after losing star player Phillip Russell to UT-Arlington in the transfer portal. Despite the loss, coach Korn has the team ready to be led by “the next man up”.

“The next guys gotta step up, we returned nine guys from last year's championship team. It’s all about every guy expanding their role, eventually that next alpha guy will emerge,” coach Korn said.

In order to become the next man up, Dylan Branson said he wants to improve himself and try to become a better version of himself as the season approaches. Branson started 27 of 32 games last season, averaging 24.4 minutes per game.

“I wanna level up, if I can become the best version of myself, I can help the team be the best version of itself,” said junior guard Dylan Branson.

Coach Korn said the OVC (Ohio Valley Conference) have teams that finish strong every year. However, it’s the team that can work together and work as a team that ends up getting the gold.

“The OVC is unpredictable, anything can happen. It’s about who is the most connected group at the end, which we proved we can do a year ago,” Korn said.

The SEMO men’s basketball team opens up the season vs Henderson State in an exhibition game on October 23rd. They then head to Grand Canyon University on November 6th to take on the Antelopes in the first game of the season.