Friday, January 28, 2011

And now the winter season's almost over

One would think that, as a person who loves to write, I would be much more diligent about this blog. I'm ashamed to say I haven't even logged in since the end of November. I've thought about it, but just never got around to it. I'll try to make up for that now.

How about the DWU men's basketball team?! What a game on Wednesday against No. 8 Briar Cliff University. My only question: Where in the WORLD has that defense been all season? If we played defense like that every game, we would be undefeated, hands down. The Chargers couldn't get anything going, no matter what they tried. Three-pointer? Nope, we've got people there. Layup? We're already there in your face. Jumper? Probably not a good idea.

Briar Cliff scored just 14 points (14!) in the second half and shot something like 23.8 percent from the field. Which is good, considering they were basically putting on a 3-point shooting clinic in the first half. I won't lie -- I got real nervous when they hit four threes in the first four minutes of the game. If that was a sign of things to come, it didn't look good. Lucky for us, Brady Wiebe looked good (which should surprise no one), and Larry Swann emerged as a scorer and Chase Walder was able to hit some big threes (which is no surprise, but was a nice addition to everyone else's contributions).

That win was a huge win, and should hopefully give DWU the spark it needs heading into its final five games of the regular season. The Tigers are now fourth in the GPAC with an 8-5 mark, and still have two of the league's top three teams on its schedule. DWU is at the University of Sioux Falls on Feb. 2 and hosts Northwestern Feb. 16. Both teams beat the Tigers earlier this season, so there's quite a bit on the line here. Pride, revenge, not to mention seeding for the GPAC playoffs and in the NAIA.

The USF game got a whole lot more interesting today when word got out that Matt Malloy and Eric Tisby -- the Coo's top scorers and only two players on the team averaging double digits in scoring -- were arrested early this morning and are suspended 'indefinitely.' I'm curious to see how the team responds without them.

As for the Northwestern game, let's hope it plays out like the Briar Cliff game did. Home court advantage should be absolutely huge, and the Tigers have a lot to play for still. If they win out, and we get a little help from around the conference, winning the GPAC is not out of the question. That just goes to show how crazy the GPAC is, considering not too long ago we were in the middle and edging close to the bottom half of the conference. Anything can happen; you can't fall asleep against anyone, no matter what their record.

So these next few weeks will be key for the Tigers. Even if they don't win the league, a top-four finish is also very realistic and would give DWU a first-round bye in the playoffs and then home-court advantage for at least a game. And, as we all know, the Corn Palace can be a tricky place to play if you don't wear blue and white.

Who ya rootin' for?

No comments: