Manchester mens basketball
After a season of COVID restrictions, in which they could only play a total of 14 games, the men’s basketball team looks forward to their upcoming conference games beginning Dec. 1.
Photo by MU Athletics

Men’s Basketball Prepares for HCAC Conference Starting in December

Jared Holley

Manchester University’s men’s basketball team looks to make an impact in this year’s Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC). Last year they won four games, finishing with a record of 4-10. They only could play 14 games, all of which were conference games due to Covid-19 restrictions.

With this season just starting, the Spartans had three tough loses in a row, all to non-conference teams. However, they look to bounce back. “We are in every game,” said Hunter Perlich. “We just need to keep improving our game and get ready for conference play and come ready.”

To kick off the Spartans’ conference play, their game will be on December 1, 2021, at Defiance College in Ohio. They then go on to play 18 more conference games. They start with a stretch of 3 HCAC games and have 1 non-conference game followed by 15 more HCAC games.

In the Spartans’ first three games they have four different players with an average of either 10 or more points per game, but are led by Bryant Smith, who averages the most points at 14.3 points per game. He also leads the team in minutes per game.

Other players are impressive too. “I think the leader of our team is Cortex Buckner,” Perlich said. “He just knows the game of basketball and can help us out as a team. He pushes everyone to be their best and perform at their peak.

“When it comes to the physical part of basketball,” Perlich continued, “I think Carson Huber stands out the most. He just is super athletic and does some things you don’t see from just any player; he brings a good intensity on the court.”

Although basketball is a physical sport it is also a mental game. “When things just are not going our way, it’s easy to be upset and get lazy, but Aiden Jarhaus is always in the game mentally,” Perlich said. “When you are struggling to find your shot, it is easy to give in mentally, but he never does.”