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  • Jackson Garrett, Staff Writer

Bearcats prove that it’s a new era for men's hoops

Gavin Weisweaver (Junior). Photo by Jason Lehman.

Men’s basketball may have had one of the largest one-year turnarounds as a program, not only in the NWC, but in all of college basketball. Finishing at 15-10 overall and 9-7 in conference, the boys had a chance to make the conference tournament until the very last night of the season, winning both games in the final weekend at George Fox and at home vs. Lewis and Clark on senior night. Unfortunately, per usual, Pacific had to ruin all the fun. The Boxers won both games as well on that last weekend, beating Lewis and Clark and Linfield, clinching their spot in the conference tournament. 

With this said, The improvement that was made compared to what has been the losing standard of men’s basketball here for so many years is impressive, to say the least. This is the first time that they have had a winning record in the conference since the 2014-2015 season. We were slated for last place in the preseason poll after only winning one conference game last year. New coach Jack Lenahan and the newly defense-focused Bearcats were able to prove the voters wrong. “My first two years we wanted to play fast. We wanted to keep that this year, but have a good defensive gameplan going into every game.” said Ryder Hsuing (‘25). Changing coaches is difficult enough for players who have been used to playing a certain way for several years before, but switching the playstyle dramatically also throws another obstacle at returning players. With that said, it is fair to say they adjusted quite well to the new scheme implemented and were able to hold their opponents to much fewer points this year than last. 

Kahiau Bruhn (Sophomore). Photo by Jason Lehman.

On the offensive side of the ball, they ran more ball screens, pindowns, and handoffs to get shooters open and in a good position to put up points. There was also a newfound sense of confidence and unity on the court. “The two biggest things were the belief we had in each other and the confidence. You could see before the game how connected we were,” said Hsuing.

While the ball didn’t exactly roll their way in the end, there is nothing for the boys to be too down about, as it is clear that men’s basketball is back to winning ways and is now a competitive force to be reckoned with in the NWC for years to come. 

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