WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Basketball season is fast approaching, and the Shockers started off on the right foot with an exhibition win over cross-town opponent Newman University on Wednesday.

Senior Guard Craig Porter Jr. is taking a big role for a team with 12 new faces on the roster. Shockers head coach Isaac Brown said he is the heart and soul of the team.

“He means the world to this team, you know,” Brown said. “If we can keep Craig Porter healthy, that would be great. Last year, if you think about it, we had five games that he didn’t play in, and we lost all of those games. Just having him on the court makes a complete difference. I expect them to have a great season.”

Porter Jr. began his third season with the Shockers in the exhibition matchup and was the leading scorer for the team. Following the game, he said he believes the team is ready for the season.

“We’ve been going at it hard in practice against each other,” Porter said. “Coach just reiterates to us that being prepared is just the biggest thing we can be now because a lot of guys transferring and not knowing what this league is like, so I feel like just playing against each other and the talent and height we have we’ll be prepared for any opponent.”

Porter also said he believes the team is nowhere near their peak yet.

“I feel like everybody was prepared, and coach did a great job getting us all ready, and I feel like we showed what we are capable of,” Porter said.

The Shockers open their season on Nov. 7 with a home matchup against Central Arkansas.