BU men’s basketball improved over season

Story by Christopher

This article was originally published prior to June 2, 2013. Due to a change in the content management systems, the initial publication date in not available. 

It doesn’t seem like it was four months ago that the Baker University men’s basketball team began its 2010-2011 campaign.

On Nov. 4, head coach Brett Ballard coached his first game for BU, as Sam Kenney turned into a YouTube sensation by stealing the ball and heaving up a half-court buzzer-beater to defeat Kansas Wesleyan University 53-52.

The ‘Cats bounced back the next night to defeat Tabor College 63-59 to improve to 2-0, but then things turned south. BU lost Kenney for the rest of the season due to a career-ending ankle injury and went 2-10 in its next 12 games.

The last of the 12 games was a 69-45 loss to Columbia College on New Year’s Day. It seemed like the Wildcats made a few New Year’s resolutions after the game, though, because they were a much improved basketball team for the rest of 2011.

Baker went on to win its next game against Bethany College 83-73, and was a tough opponent for the last 16 games in the HAAC.

BU finished 7-9 in its last 16 conference games and, with the exception of a 77-50 loss to Lindenwood Unversity, it had a chance to win each game with a few minutes left.

Had Baker won any of those games, they would’ve qualified for the HAAC Postseason Tournament. Unfortunately, BU lost out on playing in the eight-team conference tournament after drawing the short straw in a three-way tiebreaker for seventh place.

Despite a heart-breaking end to the season, the ‘Cats have a lot to be proud of and look forward to. BU improved its record in the HAAC from 3-17 last season to 8-12 in Ballard’s first season.

BU will have a hard time replacing seniors Jaris Wommack, Andre Strozier, Austin Bond and Manuel Medina, but Ballard will have his first full offseason to recruit for next season.

It was fun to watch the improvement of the team over the course of the season. If the team plays with the same level of intensity next year, that it did for the second half of this season, it will be a team well-deserving of support from the Baker community.