GLIAC play starts for Men’s Basketball

AnnMarie Kent

Finishing the preseason with a win over the University of Minnesota-Duluth, the Men’s Basketball team begins conference play with a home game against Walsh University.

re-mensbasketball2-nfThe ’Cats are 2-3 after their 3-game home stand played over Thanksgiving break. They first hosted the Minnesota State University-Moorhead and were bested 104-68 in the home opener on Friday, Nov. 18. The following night they were defeated by Southwest Minnesota State University 87-69. The Wildcats got their second win of the season during the Tuesday, Nov. 22 game against Duluth.

Head coach Bill Sall said he’s seen a lot of good things out of such a young team.

“We had some quality wins and I thought we competed really well throughout the course of the teams that we played,” Sall said.

Sall said the team has done a good job of grabbing rebounds this year and the nine freshman have gone beyond what he would expect at this level in their careers. One freshman that Sall highlighted was forward Will Carius.

“[Carius] has really stepped up and been impactful early on in this tenure,” Sall said.

Carius is averaging 14.6 points per game, tied for second for leading scorer on the team. Carius said starting conference play by coming off a win has helped the confidence of the team.

“We know what we need to do to get the win,” Carius said. “We just need to really execute well.” Sall praises the freshman class on their work ethic and the diversity in skills.

“The whole team has that fortitude to go everyday and try to get better,” Sall said. “That makes a world of difference as a coach as you’re trying to get them to improve.”

The Wildcats host the Walsh University Cavaliers on Thursday at the Berry Events Center. The Cavaliers are beginning their GLIAC play and have a 5-0 record in the preseason.

Senior guard for the Cavs Zac Carter was named GLIAC player of the week following their two wins during Thanksgiving week. Carter led the Cavs to victory in 93-74 game over Malone University and the 103-78 game against Glenville State University. Carter led the team in points with 27 each game.

Sophomore guard Isaiah Johnson said he has high hopes for the season and the team has more confidence this year.

“It’s going to be a tough game,” he said. “The step up from nonconference to GLIAC is a big step but I think that we’re going to be prepared for them.”

Sall has seen a lot of progress in the team throughout the preseason. With Walsh being one of the top teams in the GLIAC, he said it’ll give them a better understanding of where the team is at in their progress.

“It’ll be really good for us to get a great barometer of where we really stand,” Sall said. “The hope is we generate some enthusiasm.”

He said the team has been exciting to watch in the preseason and hopes there will be an excited students section.

The game tips off at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1 at the Berry Events Center.