Men’s Basketball Notebook: Hitting from everywhere
- The 2012 portion of the schedule began last Saturday in
winning fashion for the Men's Basketball team, as it prepared for,
with a 78-75 conference road victory at Dominican university.
CUWFalcons.com provides some news and notes on the season thus far
and what to look for in the upcoming contests.
THE NETS ARE ON FIRE
We have all heard the old adage "when he steps in the gym he is within range." Well, when referring to several men's basketball player, people aren't lying. The assassin in the collection sharpshooters head coach Shawn Cassidy has assembled is senior Luke Doedens (Cedarburg, Wis.), who has drilled at least three triples in six games this season. On two instances he was well on his way to setting the school record for long balls in a game - nine by Josh Klug vs. Hamline University (1994) - before the game got out of hand. As a team the Falcons rank 23rd in 3-point makes per game (8.7) and 34th in 3-point percentage (39.4) nationally, as of Jan. 8, which surprisingly doesn't lead the Northern Athletics Conference.
REBOUNDING PROVING TO BE ESSENTIAL
The Falcons are known for their offensive power, but it has been their rebounding that has been the difference in several key victories this season. On Dec. 11, when the initial national rankings were released, the men's basketball team was 88th in the country with a 4.6 rebounding differential. They have since risen to 69th in the country with a 4.9 rebounding advantage. While a 0.3 improvement may not seem like much, nearly five rebounds a game could eventually lead to 10 points. During the first six games of the Northern Athletics Conference schedule the Falcons have grabbed nearly 12 more rebounds than their opponents.
FREE THROW SHOOTING JUST GOOD ENOUGH
The men's basketball team hasn't had to rely on free throws to win most of its games this season, but when it has they have fallen more times than not. The go-to men with the game on the line for Cassidy are seniors Mitchell Schneider (New Holstein, Wis.) and Nick Doedens (Germantown, Wis.) who are a combined 27-of-35 (77.1 percent). The Falcons are 4-2 in games decided by 10 points or less, and as the pressure builds to win another NAC regular season title and reach their goal of a tournament championship, they will have to improve upon their 64.9 percent from the charity stripe.
VALUE OF BENCH PLAY IS IMPORTANT
If there is one word to describe the men's basketball roster it is depth. The Falcons have nine players averaging double-figure minutes and they have at times played an 11-man rotation without blinking. An area for concern at times can be the drop off in intensity as the reserves enter a ballgame, but that isn't a worry for Cassidy and his staff. Through the first 12 games this season the bench has provided, on average, nearly 31 points per game. The scoring hasn't just come from the 'sixth man' either, as six players have combined to score in double-figures at least once.
BOUNCING BACK NICELY
Losing is never fun, but responding with a victory makes everything feel right again. Just three times this season the men's basketball team has been defeated and each time they have answered with a victory. In the past five years - all under Cassidy's watch - the Falcons are 24-14 after dropping a game. This season they are 3-0 after a loss, with all three wins coming by an average of 19.3 points per game.
SPECIAL GUESTS ON SATURDAY
This past September the men's basketball team participated in the 13th Annual Mel's Pig Roast/Run in Cedarburg, Wis. The 5K run/walk is an event to help raise money for Ozaukee County Special Olympics and other local charities. The event raised approximately $50,000, the most in the history of the event. This Saturday the men's basketball team will have the Mel's Pig Roast staff and Special Olympic athletes from the area be honorary guests of the program.