The independent student news organization of Nicholls State University

the nicholls worth

The independent student news organization of Nicholls State University

the nicholls worth

The independent student news organization of Nicholls State University

the nicholls worth

Nicholls hopes Head Coach Tevon Saddler will bring renewed optimism to basketball program

Photo by: Jailen Leach
Nicholls Guard Quinn Strander (#4) defends against Nicholls Guard Robert Brown III in practice. Nicholls Forward Jamal West Jr. (#15) stands guard in the foreground.

A new era has begun for the Nicholls State University men’s basketball team.

Last April, Nicholls introduced Tevon Saddler as their thirteenth head coach following the departure of Austin Claunch, who is now an assistant coach at the University of Alabama.

Saddler is no stranger to the Colonels. He played for Nicholls from 2017 to 2018 and was Director of Basketball Operations from 2019 to 2021. 

He spent the 2022-23 season at the University of Maryland as the Director of Player Personnel. His one season with the Terrapins included a win in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

This is the first time that Saddler has assumed the role of head coach, he is also the youngest NCAA Division I men’s basketball head coach at 28 years old.

“It’s something that I don’t take lightly,” Saddler said. “I know these guys go their whole lives praying for an opportunity to get a head coaching job. Being that I’m 28 and having an opportunity to bless these guys lives on a day-to-day basis is a blessing,” Saddler said.

Saddler’s return to Nicholls, he believes, brings big opportunities for the program. As a player in 2018, he helped bring the Colonels their first Southland Conference championship in 20 years. Saddler said he wants the guys to have that feeling again.

“You just gotta believe,” Saddler said. “Our guys have a high belief system in themselves and in each other. They understand the things we preach, and most importantly, they work. We don’t skip any steps, we do it the right way.” Saddler said. “The only mindset is the standard. We don’t weigh, we don’t budge, we don’t care about anyone else other than us and the 13 guys we have in the locker room.” Saddler said.

The Colonels play four of their non-conference games against Power Five schools. 

Nicholls opens the season against Tulane University on Nov. 6, then travels to Baton Rouge to play Louisiana State University on Nov. 10.

“We watched the summer tour games that both LSU and Tulane participated in, and I’d be lying if I said we were prepared at this moment, but in 45 days, we will be,” Saddler said.

On Nov. 28, the team will travel to face Baylor University. Baylor rose to prominence in 2021 when the program won its first national championship.

The fourth Power Five school that Nicholls will face will be on Dec. 19, when the Colonels face the University of Maryland Terrapins, where Tevon Saddler spent last season on their staff.

Saddler says going back is not about him but about the team.

“We have a lot of guys from the east coast and we don’t get a chance to go that way often. Being able to play Maryland is going to be a big deal, especially for my guys.” Saddler said. “I’m excited for my guys, and their families who’ll be there to get the chance to come love on them.”

Saddler purposefully scheduled this game around Christmas break in hopes of giving the Colonels a less distracting environment to play in.

“If you know anything about the Xfinity Center, it’s a hard place to play[…],” Saddler said. “I scheduled it that way on purpose so that way there weren’t many students on campus.” 

The Colonels tip off the 2023 season on the road at Tulane on Nov. 6. Nicholls’ home opener is on Nov. 21, when the Colonels host Blue Mountain Christian in the re-designed Stopher Gymnasium.


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Tory Trahan
Tory Trahan, Staff Writer
Greetings humans! I'm Tory, a freshman pursuing a degree in Journalism. I was born and raised in Lafayette. When I'm not living my dream of pursuing, I'm either playing video games or eating snacks. Alright, gotta get back to writing. See ya!

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