By: Megan Powell
After a 0-5 start to the men’s basketball season, progress is being made both on the offensive and defensive side.
Head coach Kerry Prather is looking for a conference win, despite the current standings.
“Our team goal is to always win the conference,” Prather said. “We have tried to break that down into the tangible pieces of how to go about that. I think that we have made some real progress even though it’s hard to see from our record.”
During last week’s Thanksgiving break, the team traveled to St. Petersburg, Florida, to face division two ranked Eckerd College.
Before the half, the Grizzlies trailed 42-29, but came out ready to fight for the second half. The game ended with a score of 82-67, with the Tritons taking the win.
According to Prather, out of the five games that have been played, four of them have been single possession games in the last two minutes of the game.
Leading the game with 19 points was junior Robbie Prather, who has a personal focus on “becoming a better defender and rebounder.”
“In practice, our main focus is continuing to develop our defensive play,” Robbie Prather said. “We have proven that we can score against anybody, now we just need to earn more stops to give ourselves some more breathing room in tight games.”
Senior Trae Washington led the team in assists and agrees with Robbie that defense is one skill that needs improvement.
“We are working on improving on both ends of the court,” Washington said. “We played a more challenging non-conference schedule than anyone else in our league, and that has prepared us for what our real goal was coming into this season, winning a conference championship.”
Some of the key concepts the team is trying to polish off in practice before conference play begins tomorrow against Defiance are their defensive competitiveness, defensive awareness and defensive efficiency, senior forward Matt Niehoff said.
“Even though our record looks bad, don’t be deceived,” Niehoff said. “We have great guys who love to work hard and compete, and I have all the confidence in our ability to find our way into the win column.”
Attendance from the past two home games brought positive energy and team hopes that continues.
“Both of the home games that we have had so far have had good turnouts and I hope that continues,” said Kerry Prather.
The Grizzlies will face the Yellow Jackets of Defiance tomorrow at 4 p.m. in Spurlock Center following the women’s 2 p.m. game, also against Defiance.