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The Scarlet & Black

Men’s basketball continues win streak

Jack Taylor ’15 has scored 1,046 career points in just 31 games. Photograph by John Brady.

The men’s basketball team is cruising on a five game winning streak, with its most recent victory coming at the expense of Beloit College last Saturday. The Pioneers protected their second place standing in the Midwest Conference with a 111-98 win at home.

The team’s current standing comes from its ability to work together closely, despite losing many seniors from the previous year. The squad faced another hiccup when Aaron Levin ’14 tore his ACL during Grinnell’s game against Monmouth on Tuesday, Jan. 28, but was able to bounce back smoothly from the setback.

“Aaron is a great player, so not having him in the rotation certainly hurts the team,” wrote assistant coach Dave Arseneault Jr. ’09 in an email to the S&B. “At the same time, we’ve had a lot of younger guys step up and give us valuable minutes.”

Arseneault’s words proved to be true last weekend when Julian Marx ’17 scored 17 points against the Buccaneers. Kyle Parker ’17 also drained a crucial three-pointer in the second half to pull the Pioneers away with the win after trailing in the second half.

“It was a great team win and it shows a lot about us as a team that we were able to keep our composure and come back,” Marx said.

Parker appreciates the welcoming atmosphere within the basketball team, which enhances the team’s chemistry.

“The coaches, the underclassmen and even the upperclassmen are all accepting of the first-years,” Parker said. “It’s a different environment from most schools, where the seniors do not treat them the same. It’s very family-oriented and I love it.”

Along with camaraderie, the team could not more strongly emphasize the vital role of Grinnell’s unique playing style, The System.

“On defense, we’re looking to trap the ball and get one good chance at a steal because even if we don’t see the ball or we hit out of bounds, we invite doubt into [the other team’s] minds,” said Tague Zachary ’15. “This indecision is hard to deal with when there are dudes running at you. And once you have indecision, you make bad decisions”.

The Pioneers and The System will face a tough challenge tomorrow against St. Norbert College, as the Green Knights are currently ranked sixth in the nation according to They are currently in first place in Conference, losing just once this season.

“They’re very disciplined,” Parker said. “They don’t turn the ball over, which we want most teams to do. They are senior-dominated and we expect each of their players to hold their own and not play outside their comfort zone.”

Taylor, who reached the 1000-point mark for his career in a 115-94 victory against Knox College on Wednesday, Jan. 5, expressed his optimism about the upcoming game.

“St. Norbert is going to be tough,” Taylor said. “But we took them to overtime when we played them the first time at our place. We’re just preparing like we usually do. We’re going to go in [feeling] confident.”

Jack Taylor ’15 has scored 1,046 career points in just 31 games. Photograph by John Brady.
Jack Taylor ’15 has scored 1,046 career points in just 31 games. Photograph by John Brady.

Arseneault emphasized the importance of the upcoming game as a victory that will “clinch a spot in the [MWC] tournament.”

“For the first time in a while, we will be the underdogs when we square off against St. Norbert this Saturday,” he said. “If we show up ready to play hard and we make a few shots, then it should be an entertaining game.”

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