Riley's Hotshots | Courtesy Photo

The Cal Poly men’s basketball team has high hopes for the 2018-19 season with the addition of two incoming freshmen recruits. Daxton Carr and Junior Ballard are both looking to make a big impact for the Mustangs during the 2018-19 school year. Head coach Joe Callero looks forward to the distinct roles each player will fulfill during their time as Mustangs.

“Both Daxton and Junior can shoot the 3-pointer. They are good scorers and have good size for their positions. Junior is quicker and stronger than most [high school] guards so he should compete for playing time as a freshman next year,” Callero said. 

Carr brings size and versatility to the court

Carr, a 6-foot-7-inch senior from Highland High School in Pocatello, Idaho is ready to make an impact for the Mustangs as a freshman. Callero is looking forward to seeing Carr fulfill his potential as he finishes his high school career.

“Daxton will need to add some muscle over his first year to battle with the big men under the hoop. As he gets stronger he will be able to guard both forward positions,” Callero said.

Carr said he is determined to improve before next fall so he is prepared to play at the college level.

“I think that I can bring a lot of defensive intensity and a solid defensive presence. I also need to get a lot bigger and more physical before I can play at the next level,” Carr said.

When he visited the campus, Carr felt that Cal Poly offered a great environment for him to develop as a player.

“Watching practice and seeing how hard everyone works is something that I really want to have when I go to play in college,” Carr said.

Ballard’s speed and strength will contribute to the Mustangs

Junior Ballard, a 6-foot-3-inch guard who transferred to Modesto Christian High School for his senior year, is also expected to make an immediate impact for the Mustang’s 2018-19 season. Callero said he expects Ballard to use his speed and strength from his time in high school to play at the college level.

“Junior is quicker and stronger than most [high school] guards so he should compete for playing time as a freshman next year,” Callero said.

With his size and strength, Junior is already able to compete at a high level.

“I was once told you can’t teach playing hard, and whenever I’m playing or in practice I’m going to do it with passion,” Ballard said.

The work ethic Ballad applies to his game and improvement as a player will fit well with the Mustangs’ program.

“What I like about the team at Cal Poly is that they are anxious to get better. I just love being around the environment. The coaching staff is straightforward and I really appreciate that. I think we are going to mesh well together,” Ballard said.

As the Mustangs compete this season, Cal Poly will be looking forward to building off this year’s success with the growth of the team next year. Callero not only looks forward to Carr and Ballard’s contribution on the court but also off the court.

“We loved these recruits because they are both very unselfish and team oriented guys,” Callero said.

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