Lew Hill joins the WAC Hoops Digest podcast to talk about his 2020-212 Vaqueros. UTRGV struggled through a 14-16 season in 2019-20. It is the first time under Hill that UTRGV hasn’t seen an increase in wins. Some of that was due to injuries, especially to All-WAC point guard Javon Levi.
However, eight players who saw double digit minutes in 2019-20 return, led by Levi. Add in Division I transfers Marek Nelson, Ricky “Doc” Nelson, and 2018-29 America East Defensive Player of the Year Jeff Otchere and UTRGV will make noise in the WAC. There is something unique about the UTRGV roster. The Vaqueros might be the only team in America that has two different conference Defensive Players of the Year with Jeff Otchere (America East) and Javon Levi (WAC).
Levi is coming off a season in which he was second in the NCAA in assists per game at 7.96. The senior from Killeen, TX also averaged 2.4 steals per game. Levi was ranked in the top-15 in the NCAA in assists per game, steals per game, assist-to-turnover ratio, and total assists.
Hill has to replace Lesley Varner II and highlight-reel Jordan Jackson. But, according to Hill, Marek Nelson should fill in just fine. Plus, Quinton Johnson II will get more looks as will Sean Rhea who Hill is very high on coming into 2020-21. Rhea took for the floor for UTRGV on Dec. 12, 2019 at Creighton. Rhea’s stats don’t jump out at you but it’s the physicality that Hill is looking forward to the most.
UTRGV will play its entire non-conference schedule in the state of Texas. It is about safety and reducing the amount of travel early in the season.
Hill has also been a vocal leader in terms of injustice, letting go of hate, and changing laws. He gives a breakdown of where he stands and what he hopes to see.
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Image courtesy UTRGV Men’s Basketball Twitter.