ABILENE, Texas -

Hardin-Simmons’ men’s basketball team will open its season in the Bon Appetit/ Northwest Conference Tip Off Classic in Oregon over the weekend.

The Cowboys will play Pacific (Ore.) at George Fox University in Newberg, Ore on Friday at 7:30 p.m. CST. HSU will then head to Salem, Ore., to play Willamette University at 9:30 p.m. CST on Saturday. The Classic features eight teams at four different locations and pairs teams from Colorado, California, Texas and Oregon. 

Hardin-Simmons is coming off a 21-7 season a year ago that saw the Cowboys advance to the American Southwest Conference Championship game.

The new look Cowboys return just a pair of starters from a year ago in George Nelson (8.7 ppg and 6.4 rpg) and Bernard Stiggers (3.3 ppg and 3.2 rpg). Seniors John Derr (9.5 ppg and 68 3-pointers) and Jeff Holland are the only other returners from a year ago.

Junior Derrick Jefferson suffered a broken ankle in preseason practices and will miss the season. He was the team’s leading returning scorer at 10.7 ppg and rebounder at 7.0 per game and was a member of the all-ASC defensive team last year.

Junior college transfers Darius Singletary, Eric Taylor, Matt Sinclair and Titus Mims are the top newcomers and are expected to step into immediate starting roles. Singletary is a 6-3 point guard, Taylor is a shooting guard with good size at 6-1 and excellent shooting ability.

Mims is a 6-7 forward that is athletic and should be one of the top players in the conference. Sinclair is a 6-5 forward that can play inside and outside.

Transfers EZ Garcia and Charles Sams and freshman Daylon Jones are expected to add depth at guard and freshmen Caleb Hogan and JaMael Windom-Haynes add depth on the inside.

The Cowboys home and conference opener will be on Nov. 29 against the University of the Ozarks.

Information for this story provided by HSU Sports Information.