Men’s basketball team isn’t ready for championships yet, and here’s why

by | Feb 14, 2024 | Sports

The Ooks men’s basketball team has achieved an 8-10 record this season so far. With the playoffs approaching, let’s take a look at how they’ve got here. The men’s team started the season 5-5 in their first 10 games. They had a lot of close matchups, including a couple of two-point victories versus Concordia University and Northwestern Polytechnic, and a one-point victory against Capilano. 

November would be the team’s worst month, seeing them lose five of their six games in the month. This was a very bad defensive month for the team. In 3 of their 6 games, they gave up more than 90 points, and only held a team under 80 points once.  The team’s defensive woes could be attributed to them being a very young team that’s through some growing pains. They only have 3 players that are in their 3rd year or more and have 8 first-year players. 

After the mid-season break in December, the team continued losing in January. They only won one game this month and struggled to score. They managed a measly 55 and 49 points against Keyano College, whom they played to start the month. 

February has been kind to the team so far. They’ve won three out of four games this month. The playoffs are approaching, and the team has 4 games remaining in the regular season. Currently, they sit in the fourth spot in the north division, giving them a playoff spot. Time will tell how the season ends up, but let’s take a deeper look into why the Ooks have been performing this way. 

The team has been good overall at shooting from the field and three, with them being middle of the pack in these statistics for the conference. They shoot 45.7% for the field and 34.2% for 3. But they are struggling at the free throw line this season. They’re only shooting 68% for the charity strip, which is the fourth-worst mark in the ACAC. 

Another place the team struggles is on the glass This is no surprise; they only have two players over 6 foot 5 inches tall. They have the second worst rebounds per game mark in the conference. But it’s not all negative. They’ve been succeeding with their ball movement, averaging 17.4 assists per game–the fifth-best in the conference. The team is moving the ball, but they aren’t following through. 

The team’s overall points per game this season has also been very poor. Sitting at third worst in the conference, they’ve only achieved 77.6 points per game. The young age of the team is probably a contributing factor here as well. They only have three players averaging double-figure points per game. Two of the three top scorers (Yasser Abdullahi, Griffin Lorenz and Owen Weaver) are in their fourth and fifth years. 

On the defensive side, the team has also seen some struggles. The Ooks give up the four best field goal percentage to teams at 46.2% per game. They also give up the four best three-point percentage to teams at 35.5% per game, meaning the team has struggled to make things difficult for the opposition this season. On the other hand, they’ve been great at limiting teams to one possession. They give up the third-fewest rebounds per game; this is a great stat considering the small frame of the team. They have also limited their opponents to the third-fewest assists this season, with teams only averaging 12.8 assists per game against the Ooks. Another place where the Ooks can hold their heads high is the points they allow per game. They currently allow the sixth fewest points per game at 82.4 points per game. Overall, the Ooks’ defence has been middle of the pack this season. But, for a team with 8 first-year players, that’s pretty solid. It’s something they can build on going forward.

My verdict? The team has potential, but they aren’t there yet. But this is to be expected–the team is very young. They’re going through what young teams go through. ut to be such a competitive team on the defensive end whilst being this young is something that will go a long way for them in the coming years. If they want to get to the levels like SAIT and Keyano College, they’ll need to improve their offense. Overall the team is building in the right way. They’ll be a competitive team in the coming years as long as they recruit right and keep up the great defensive principles they will get places. This year is a bit too early to be competing for the ACAC but in the coming years, I give them a chance.

Latest Issue