With seven games left in the season, the men’s basketball team looks like it will finish strong and make a final push to host conference playoffs. However, even with two wins under their belt in their last three games, the Pioneers have not appeared to be shooting their typical 110-plus point efforts.
According to Associate Men’s Basketball Coach Dave Arseneault Jr. ’09, there are a number of factors that have contributed to the flat quality of play, including Jack Taylor ’15 breaking his wrist, five players staying home with the flu, and a long trip back from Illinois College. In order to once again resume play at full throttle, Coach hopes that “home cooking is what we need,” in order to heal up and come out firing on all cylinders.
Arseneault especially looks to veterans Griffin Lentsch ’13, Aaron Levin ’14, Jesse Ney ’13 and Patrick Maher ’14, as well as Luke Yeager ’15, to step up even more.
“Those guys are going to have to cover us a little more. I don’t think it’s a secret to anyone that those are our best scorers, we’re just need them to increase their production a little bit…” he said. “[These players] can’t be looking left and right for somebody else; they just have to step up and do it themselves.”
In addition to those players, he is encouraged by the play of Tague Zachary ’15, a 6’8” sophomore from Irvine, California, who played on the Under-20 British National Team this summer.
“[Zachary] hadn’t shot the ball particularly well early in the year, but he’s come on very strong as of late,” Arseneault said.
With all of that said, Arseneault is encouraged by the fact that many of the remaining games will take place in Darby Gymnaisum. However, he does not want to look too far ahead, but rather just take it one game at a time.
“[Head Coach Arseneault] has done a great job building an atmosphere in the gym. We get such great student support, that [Darby] really has become a difficult place to play,” he said. “We really just need to show up [to play]!”
On Wednesday, the Pioneers played Monmouth in a game at Darby Gymnasium. The Pioneer defense played strong and the offense, led by Lentsch, Zachary and Yeager, tallied a total of 93 points to lead the Pioneers to an easy victory.
With less than a month left in the season, Grinnell looks to finish strong as it has six games left, four of which will be played at home in Darby Gymnasium.