Men’s basketball maintains winning momentum over winter break


Photo by Courtney Sylvest

The Nicholls State University men’s basketball team secured their first victory of the new semester with their win over Houston Baptist on Jan. 22. This victory puts the team’s record at 13-7, as the men upkeep their Southland Conference ranking of second.

Head Coach Austin Claunch believes the key to maintaining the winning ways are preparation and the team playing up to their abilities.

“We just have to continue to prepare and practice the same way we’ve done it so far this season,” Claunch said. “I think when we take the right shots and guard the way we’re capable of, we’re really hard to beat. But the thing is, in this league, you need to be ready every night because anybody can get you.”

Claunch considers the team’s greatest strength to be the ability to play the entire roster.

“I think it’s our depth. Multiple guys can come in the game and force the opposing team to account for them,” Claunch said.

When any team has lots of threats to keep the opposition on their toes, the offense becomes complex and more difficult to defensively adapt to, adding depth. In Claunch’s words, “It’s easier to coach when you’re coming with guys off the bench who are dangerous.”

Going forward, Claunch wants players to understand that it takes 40 minutes of solid performance every game night to be great.

“I think a lot of the time it’s our own focus. We have got to be able to remain focused over the course of 40 minutes without getting comfortable or complacent,” Claunch said.

Aside from the hurdles that the men’s team will need to jump, the Colonels have amassed some huge accomplishments this season.

“Earlier in the year, we beat Pittsburgh, and they’re a Power five team. Nobody thought we could beat them, but we went in there and won,” Lorenzo McGhee, sophomore guard from Decatur, GA, said.

Collegiate basketball seasons continue throughout winter break, although students are between semesters. Despite the athletes’ more effective, heavier training over the break, the absence in supporters undoubtedly takes away some aspects of the typical home-court advantage in games.

“It’s different when it’s an empty building, but when the students come back, there’s a lot more energy. So, we need the students to be here and for the crowd to be pumped up,” Elvis Harvey, Jr., senior forward from South Bay, FL, said.

The Colonels men’s basketball team has been on a roll this season, and the start of a new semester is an excellent time to jump on the bandwagon.