Beesley becoming key role player in time of need
Hunter Lyle – Sports Writer
One of the most important factors in any efficient and effective basketball system are the glue guys and role players. These typically unsung heroes help carry the load during dry spells, rough patches and spans of team injuries.
The men’s basketball team is no foreigner to the world of sports crisis. Currently, one of the team’s center pieces, senior guard Isaiah McLeod, suffered an injury and has missed the past three games while other key players suffered injuries in the preseason.
Between the seemingly constant injuries and the slow start to the season, the Owls currently sit at 2-4 – fourth in the NE-10 Conference Southwest division at 1-1. Through the drought, the Owls have been relying on the rest of the team to fully commit.
One player has been a key pillar to the team for the past two years: number 52, Luke Beesley.
Beesley is an essential part to both sides of Southern’s game. Tenaciously grabbing rebounds, both offensively and defensively, he can create opportunities for the rest of his team while also making plays for himself under the basket and playing ironclad defense on the other end.
Beesley also contributes offensively without scoring. As a tough post-player, he opens up the court by positioning himself deep in the paint, allowing shooters to find their mark and fire away.
In the 2018-2019 season, Beesley is currently averaging 11.3 points per game, off a whopping 71.9% shooting, 8.7 rebounds per game, and close to a steal and a block every game. In the last three games played, he has finished with double digit points and totaled close to 30 rebounds.
In his last game against Caldwell University, Beesley finished with a career high 18 points, six rebounds and played stellar late-game defense in the 81-69 victory over the Cougars.
While Beesley has only been playing at Southern since his junior year, after transferring from Parkland College, in his first year with the team he averaged 2.7 offensive rebounds per game, the second most in the NE-10 conference.
With all the woes the men’s basketball team is facing as of late, Beesley has certainly maintained become a prime factor for the Owls, which only makes the return of injured players more exciting.
The multi-faceted, back-to- the-basket playstyle of Beesley, paired with the athletic scoring of players like McLeod and Ulyen Coleman, should make a potent offense that will certainly make some waves in the NE-10 conference.