Today: Apr 21, 2024

Midseason report: Men’s Basketball

Sean Meenaghan — Photo Editor
Luke Houston is having a great start to his freshman year averaging 6.7 points per game, playing in all 15 games and starting five of them.

RYAN FLYNNGeneral Assignment Reporter

Just past the halfway point of the 2011-2012 season, the Southern men’s basketball team’s record stands at 7-8. The story thus far has been one of a young, talented team taking its lumps and learning how to play winning basketball together.

This has resulted in some close losses and inconsistent play in the first half of the year.

“It’s been an up-and-down season,” head coach Michael Donnelly said. “We’ve been inconsistent. Some of that, to be quite honest, was expected because of our youth, and our youth has really shown at times.”

A trio of double-digit scorers leads the team. Sophomore swingmen Greg Langston and Dominique Langston have

averaged 18 and 14 points per game respectively, while junior forward Trevon Hamlet, the team’s sole low-post threat, is putting up 17 points, six rebounds and an impressive 2.7 blocks per game. He leads the Northeast-10 in this category.

“I feel like we’re gonna have our ups and downs; we didn’t expect it to come so early,” Dominique Langston said, “but, we’re getting better every day. We’re practicing harder; we’re starting to come together as a team, as a family. That’s one of our main goals that we’re actually trying to work on right now is to make sure we come together, fight through it, and make sure we finish out games.”

The Owls roster currently boasts just four upperclassmen among the 14 total players, with two sophomores and two freshmen in the current starting lineup. The first two players off of Donnelly’s bench are freshmen as well.

“We are very young. Maybe it has [affected the team] a little bit, but I don’t think that’s an excuse,” freshman guard Kyle Callanan said. “We’re not using that excuse that we’re young.”

Donnelly has shuffled his lineups a bit while trying to feel out the most cohesive starting five. Eight different players have occupied the five starting positions, with only Hamlet, Dominique Langston and Greg Langston starting all 15 games.

According to Donnelly, it is still “a work in progress.” “We’ve just been trying different combinations, seeing what works,” said Donnelly. “Some of it is based on the team that we’re playing, and we’re just trying to match guys up with what we feel is the best matchup for that given night. We’ve been a team that hasn’t really found that exact rhythm and that’s why we’ve tried different combinations.”

Callanan, who has been shuffled in and out of the starting five, has no gripes with the process.

“Whatever they want me to do, I’m just here to do it,” he said. “Doesn’t matter if I start or come off the bench. I’m just ready to play my role, whatever it is.”

The Owls have especially struggled away from home, posting a 1-4 record prior to Saturday’s win at Merrimack, which put an end to a four game losing streak.

“When we’re on the road we try to just think about if we come out with energy and start early and keep the same energy throughout the whole game, we should be fine,” Dominique Langston said. “Because our offense is there. So we just make sure to get stops, capitalize, and make sure that our energy is at the same level.”

Hamlet issued a similar sentiment, saying that the team needed to “play smart in certain situations.” “We lost a lot of close games on the road,” Hamlet said, “and we basically beat ourselves.”

Going forward, Donnelly said that his team needs to improve by focusing on the little details and on the significancethat they hold. He also attributed some of their issues to letting the little things bother them, such as missed shots and turnovers.

“We have to really keep stressing to the guys that the need to be consistent in those small areas will result in big positive things down the road and down the stretch of the year,” Donnelly said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog