MU
Oak Leaves

November 15, 2019





Men’s Basketball Tips Off their Season at PFW

Carlos Argueta

 

Manchester men’s basketball team ramped up their season last Thursday night at Memorial Coliseum against Purdue Fort Wayne. The team was looking to start their season on a high note, looking to give an excellent performance against a tough Division 1 basketball program on the road.

Purdue Fort Wayne dominated the first half leading the game 50-32. Then Manchester was able to adjust and made the second half a more competitive game. Ultimately Purdue Fort Wayne was able to close out the game 91-80, earning their first win of the season. Although Manchester did not get the win, the team is proud of their performance and are excited about what is to come.

The game against Purdue Fort Wayne was a test for Manchester to see how well they can compete against top-quality opponents and whether or not they are a potential winning side. “Going into the game, we had three goals,” said Nate Conley, head coach. “See how we look during practice by playing our own style of basketball, evaluate and get feedback and get better from it, and lastly, just enjoy it. It was a great opportunity for us; not a lot of small college programs get to play at the Division 1 level, and I think our guys just soaked it up and took advantage of it.”

There were many doubts during pre-season about how ready the team would be for this season. With no coach just weeks before the season, the team was scrambling for a new coaching staff, and with low morale within the group, this year seemed like a challenging year for the program. But with this recent performance against Purdue Fort Wayne, and only a 3-point loss against Oberlin on Nov. 12, there is a sensation within the squad that they are a formidable opponent.

“HCAC should be scared of Manchester this season; we have so many great players, and we have a team that is hungry,” said Jared Andis, junior. “Our mission is to win every game, win the conference, and get into the national tournament.”

What has worked well for the team so far is the chemistry between the players and the new coaching staff. The players have full trust in new head coach Nate Conley, and his presence has been a significant influence for the squad this season. “We have a new coaching staff that has been amazing, and they have been guiding us in the right direction,” Conley said.

The team’s fantastic performance against Purdue Fort Wayne was due in part to their team-oriented style of play. “We had stretches where we played unselfish basketball, where we would turn down good shots to give our teammates great shots,” Conley explained.

“Then we had stretches where we got really individualized, where we did too much on our own. So I would like for us moving forward to put our teammates in a position to be successful, and not try to do everything individually.” The basketball team looks to continue their great rhythm against Kalamazoo College, trying to solidify a win after a very close match against Oberlin on Tuesday.

The players and the coaching staff are ready to rally into action and to continue the strong camaraderie within the team. “I am excited to bond with the team, to grow as a person, and to break the ceiling open to show people what we can do,” said Abdul Ogunnalike, senior.