Simpson men optimistic of strong finish


by Tim Lone/Staff Writer

The men’s basketball team started off the season with a 4-12 record. While their record may be sub-par, their optimism for the rest of the season certainly has not diminished.

Coach Bruce Wilson talked about the team’s start to the season, and his optimism for the rest of the season.

“It’s discouraging as far as our record,” Wilson said. “But not discouraging as far as how our guys are playing.”

Wilson said the team has made some tremendous strides since the beginning of the season and has seen improvement from his younger players. Including freshmen: guard Elijah Knox, guard Anthony Miller, forward John Cord and center Robert King, all of whom have seen varsity playing time this season.

Senior center Tim Dunlavy talked about the impact of some of those younger players.

“I feel right now we are doing well at incorporating our younger players into our system and giving them more opportunities to gain experience and play more important roles on our team,” Dunlavy said.

Sophomore guard Zack Barragan talked about the team’s improvement and how their record can be a bit deceiving to those who haven’t seen them play.

“I think we have made a lot of progress from the start of the season,” Barragan said. “Our year hasn’t gone the way we have planned and that is always disappointing, but I think we are better than what our record shows. We have been in a lot of close games and just can’t seem to come out with a victory in the end.”

Barragan went on to talk about team chemistry and how the team is not relying on any one player to do all of the scoring.

“We have been playing unselfishly and distributing the basketball to everybody on the court,” Barragan said. “We have been executing our plays for some open shots. And I think we can play with anybody in our conference as long as we play solid for a whole 40 minutes.”

Wilson said one of the main things the team struggles with is scoring droughts. He said the team is learning to fight their way through some of those droughts by playing good defense and staying patient.

One of the things Wilson is encouraged by is the quality minutes he is getting from his three seniors, Dunlavy, forward Andrew Dau and forward Peter Jorgensen. Wilson also talked about what he hopes to see the rest of the season.

“I think we have played pretty well at home and away,” Wilson said. “We just need to get that ‘W’ and get ourselves over the top.”

Dunlavy talked about what the team needs to do to get that win and put the team over the top.

“We need to be able to put together a full 40 minutes if we want to win games,” Dunlavy said. “In most of our games we have short five-minute stretches when teams go on runs and its difficult to recover from. We also need to do better at closing out games. Over half of our losses were in the last five minutes, and as a team, we need to execute down the stretch if we have any chance to win.”