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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Men’s basketball has strong winter break showing

Kyler Parker ’17 laying up this past Wednesday versus Monmouth. Photo by Jeff Li

Mithila Iyer

Kyler Parker ’17 laying up this past Wednesday versus Monmouth. Photo by Jeff Li
Kyler Parker ’17 laying up this past Wednesday versus Monmouth.
Photo by Jeff Li

Winter break was a time for the whole student body to rest and rejuvenate, but the men’s basketball team managed to combine that with some serious training and well-played games. Remaining in Grinnell over the winter, they spent time practicing strategies, executing goals and improving their playing style.

“Kyle Parker (’17) was healthy enough to play and Mike Porter (’17) returned from his semester abroad and this made us much quicker, defensively. Unfortunately, we just were unable to sustain the requisite effort that we need to be successful in our system. However, our victory at Lake Forest in front of a full house, most of whom were Grinnell alums, was definitely the highlight of the year to date,” wrote head coach David Arseneault in an email to The S&B.

It seems that spending an extended amount of time together has been key to the team’s improvement. 

“We got a chance to watch a lot of film, that really helped us improve as a team and really focus on our basketball,” said Julian Marx ’17. “In terms of playing style, we just tried to execute our system goals. What we do doesn’t change, but I think being able to have more time together and have practice periods for a little bit longer allowed us to pay a little more attention to detail.”

Though the break started off well with key wins against Lake Forest College and Lawrence University, it had its downs as well. A string of closely contested losses followed these wins, such as Grinnell’s 99-98 loss to Beloit College.

“Beloit really set us back emotionally. We played so well in the first 30 minutes of that game only to go ice cold from the floor in the last ten minutes and eventually lost by one point,” Arseneault wrote.

The team rallied however, and continued to focus on preparing for their next games.

“What we’re really focused on is just our effort, our execution in terms of what we can control and just continuing to get better each day,” Marx said. It is with this strategy that the Pioneers prepared for their game against Monmouth College this past Wednesday.

“Starting with the Monmouth game on Wednesday we need to find a new motivation for playing hard,” Arseneault wrote. The Pioneers would go on to lose the affair 92-103.

Although not eliminated from the league yet, chances of making the playoffs are difficult but achievable. Regardless, there seems to be a common consensus on the goals for the rest of the season, with all-out involvement the key factor.

“We just want to give it everything we have, just focus on everything we do, play as hard and execute as well as we can, and continue to get better,” Marx said.

Coach Arseneault reiterated this, writing, “A winning season is not out of reach. That is my current goal.”

The Pioneers will go on the road this weekend to play Carroll University with play beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6.

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