Through the first 18 games of the season, the men’s basketball team stands with a record of (9-9). The team currently leads the conference in field goal percentage, and they have the best rebounding margin in the conference as well.
Before the season began, Gary Tuell, head coach, wanted the team to improve their defense from last year. A near 12-point per game improvement defensively has indicated that the team received his message.
“Our defense has gotten much better since last year,” said Tuell. “I think our team concept on defense is much better. I think our guys have a better understanding that defense wins games.”
Teddy Tassy, senior guard, has been named SSC Player of the Week twice this season. He credits Brandon Crone, assistant coach, for the team’s improved defense.
“The big difference is Coach Crone coming in and having a defensive mentality from Butler,” said Tassy. “Ever since preseason started and practice started, we have really been stressing defense this year.”
Robert Huntington, senior center, has the second highest field goal percentage in the conference, and believes all of his teammates have shown the ability to score points.
“With the new team, everyone’s capable of making shots,” he said. “Teddy’s won Player of the Week. Iran’s [Hollis] won Player of the Week. In those games, they’re shooting 80-90 percent without a problem. Then, when they do have tough nights, guys like Shaun Prautl are making things happen inside.”
With the worst turnover margin in the conference, this is one area Tuell wants the team to focus on.
“We’re shooting the ball really well, but we still turn the ball over too much, and that’s probably right now our biggest focus- trying to reduce turnovers and continuing to improve defensively,” he said.
Despite the high turnover margin, Tuell said he has been impressed with how the team has shared the ball and played unselfishly.
“A lot of credit goes to the players,” he said.