Teamwork is the name of the game as the Baldwin Wallace University men’s basketball team surges. The team, that has won nine of its last ten games (including a seven game winning streak during this time), is finally hitting its stride after scoring a school record 64 points in the first half of its 112-70 win over Muskingum.
BW, which currently sits on a 13-4 overall record with an OAC mark of 7-3, is starting to play with a little bit of swagger which senior forward Matt Dennis credits to the team’s unselfish attitude and hard work. He says that the team is “hungry” and the overall game is “bigger than myself” and believes that now that the team has figured out its identity, it will be a hard team to stop.
In fact, it took a last second shot from John Carroll to defeat the yellow jackets during this impressive run.
For team captain Dennis and the rest of the team, this is only the beginning. Dennis says that the teams goals this year include the OAC championship, and a berth in the NCAA tournament, which has not been done since the 2005-2006 season, and would place them among the all time great teams in Baldwin Wallace Men’s Basketball history.
With players like Dennis, who is on pace to break the BW all-time record for blocks, and senior guard Justin Roth, who is currently leading the OAC in points per game, these goals are very much theirs for the taking. In addition to that, the team is currently leading the conference in three point field goal percentage, and overall though this is as well rounded of a basketball team as there is in the OAC. They pose a threat for anybody willing to stand in their way in their quest for greatness.
Dennis also credits a lot of the success to the coaching staff and the work they have put in to make this team as successful as possible. With assistant coach Keonta Howell’s overseas experience, and head coach Duane Sheldon’s ability to put a chip on the shoulder of his players and motivate his players to be the best they possibly can be. Dennis said that the overall game has been simplified and has been a lot more fun because of that, which translates into success.
With a tough stretch of games coming up, including rematches against John Carroll and Marietta, the team that broke their winning streak and the team they last lost to before the long winning streak started, the Yellow Jackets will have a tough road ahead of them if they wish to accomplish all the goals that they set out to when the season started. However, if the bond between the team and the success it has translated into is any indication of how the season will end, this team looks like they will be poised to make a run this postseason.
Be sure to catch the Yellow Jackets this Saturday (January 31) when they travel to take on first place Marietta, and the following Wednesday (February 4) when they return home in action against Heidelberg and give them your support.