EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) – Everyday, Monday through Friday, is the mindset for UTRGV Men’s Basketball in 2023.

The Vaqueros finished the 2022-23 season 15-17. The returners from last year’s squad knew lots had to be done in the offseason to improve.

One of those areas was the team’s daily mindset.

“Everyday, Monday through Friday,” Ahren Freeman, senior forward, said. “That’s the same energy that we’re going to bring to the game time, to the season. Every game, we’re going to be hustling, going at it and giving it everything we got.”

Consistency and defense in all 40 minutes of the game were major points of emphasis for the Vaqueros in the offseason. Losing close games was a killer last season.

With a new group of guys and senior leaders, they believe the defensive effort will look different.

“I feel like this year, we’re making more strides on the defensive end to be a team that defends better, pressures the ball,” Daylen Williams, senior forward, said. “I feel like it’ll translate to more wins for us this year.”

UTRGV lost its leading scorer from 2022, Justin Johnson. Johnson averaged 20.3 points per game. With such a blow to offensive production, the Vaqueros have bought into an all-team offensive effort.

“I’m sure there’s going to be times where every person on this team is going to have a very big game for us,” said Freeman.

“This year, I feel like we’re doing a better job of playing together and moving the ball around. That should help us,” said Williams.

With a new group of guys means new team goals. UTRGV has yet to claim the Western Athletic Conference title, but this team aims to change that.

“With the talent on this team, I feel like we can be the team to put the first championship banner up,” DeAnthony Tipler, graduate transfer guard, said.

UTRGV tips off its season November 6, against Southwestern Adventist.