You’re Missing Out on the Excitement
BY WILL BASLER
High- flying and sharp-shooting Bearcats are truly an exciting team to watch.
Over the weekend, the Bearcat men’s basketball team lost at Southern Indiana 90-74. Looking at the score, an onlooker may infer that the game was a blowout, but the Bearcats actually led at halftime and, if not for the Screaming Eagles having a great shooting half, the game may have ended differently.
This was only the fourth time in 2014 that the team had scored less than 75 points. This year’s team is scoring 16 points more per game than last year’s team, and their 83.2 PPG is more than any McKendree team since the 2007-08 season. The team has a good mix of guards and big men that can put up over 100 points in any one game, a feat they have already accomplished four times this season.
The Bearcats are led by sharp-shooting senior guard Clinton Happe, who provides the team with senior leadership as well as a leading scorer. He is shooting 40% from three-point range, which leads the team. Point guard Mike DiGregorio is also a threat from long-range, as he adds his own 16 ppg and shoots over 38% from behind the arc. These two shooters stretch defenses with their skill, which opens up space near the basket for the team’s talented big men. Arthur Williams and Will Kirksey have some big bodies to go along with their skilled post moves around the hoop. Kirksey has notched 10 points and 4 boards per game this year, while Williams leads the team in rebounding with 7.9 per game and adds 9.6 points to that.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the Bearcat basketball team is the high-flying dunks. Juniors Logan Carson and Matt Holmes are integral parts of the lineup and add a lot of athleticism to the mix. They have both flushed SportsCenter Top 10 worthy dunks this season, adding excitement to the usual under-the-rim style of McKendree basketball. In the Nov. 12 victory over Indiana Dabney, Carson finished a 360 dunk over an opponent. The fans, his teammates, and even some of the Dabney players went absolutely bananas. For many of those in attendance, it was something they will only see once.
This is easily the most exciting basketball team I have watched in a few years. The dunks and three-pointers make for some edge-of-your-seat action against top-flight opponents. The Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) is the premier conference for men’s basketball. The conference has produced the national champion for two of the last three years, after Drury won last year and Bellarmine won in 2011. This season, the Bearcats have taken a few ranked opponents to the wire, including #10 Indianapolis, #16 Southern Indiana, #17 Lewis, and #18 Wisconsin-Parkside.
The Bearcats play a difficult schedule and are in every game they play. With the amazing skills of our big men, the sharp shooters on the outside, and the high flyers, many students are missing out on the action. This is a good basketball team we have here at McKendree, and there are still several empty seats in the bleachers. You will not want to miss Logan Carson or Matt Holmes throwing down highlight dunks or Clinton Happe nailing a long three pointer to force overtime. These guys are great players and a great group of guys, so give them a chance. They will definitely make it worth your time.