Men’s Basketball: Young Team Poised to Make Run at NCAA Tournament

NATASHA GEIGER, SPORTS CORRESPONDENT

It was a great kick-off to the 2015-16 basketball season for the St. Norbert men’s basketball team. On Monday, Nov. 16 the Green Knights hosted and won 68-62 against the No. 23 UW-Oshkosh Titans. This match-up between the Green Knights and the Titans has turned into an old rivalry, marking the fifteenth time these two have met.

After graduating four talented seniors, the men’s basketball team is playing with a rather young group of players this season. With no seniors and four juniors on the team, Coach Gary Grzesk says there is a level of uncertainty as the season goes on in figuring out each player’s role on the court.

The beginning of the Green Knights schedule will be tough; it includes a game against reigning National Champions, UW-Stevens Point, and a couple of tough conference games, including Monmouth College, Ripon College and Grinnell College. However, with a quality win against UW-Oshkosh, there is a clear sense of hope that this young team will continue to take care of business.

According to Grzsek, even though the Green Knights are young, their youth can serve as a good thing. They will now have the majority of the team together for two years. The Green Knights will not deter from their well-known man-to-man defense, but they will need to find a new offensive identity. While some may think the youth of the Green Knights is a death sentence, they are still projected to be first in the Midwest Conference.

In the 2014-15 season, the Green Knights finished 24-2 overall and went undefeated in conference play. With the help of four talented seniors, the Green Knights were able to win the Midwest Conference Title and surged into the NCAA Division III Tournament only to lose in the first round. As they look toward another season, the Green Knights are armored up to defend their Midwest Conference Title and build on the success of last season.

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