Men’s Basketball Looking to Turn Season Around/by Elliot Reeder

The MC men’s basketball team is looking to turn their season around after starting 0-5 with two losses apiece to UAH and West Alabama, then a loss in the first game of a two-game series against Union.

Since then, they have won two of their last three, and as they head into the second half of the season, they have some momentum and are looking to turn things around.

The first win of the season after that 0-5 start was an emphatic one. MC dominated Union 89-57 in a game that the Choctaws led by as many as 43 in. As a team, MC shot 11 of 23 on three-pointers in the game. Junior guard Dillyn Neely went five of nine from behind the arc in the game. Even with the red-hot shooting from deep, the biggest story from the game was the Choctaws dominating the boards. MC outrebounded Union 44-25. 

On the performance in the win, head coach Mike Jones said, “I saw us play together. I thought we had a lot of energy. I thought we shared the basketball well, and we rebounded. I’ve told our guys over the year that if we outrebounded people, and share the basketball, and get the ball to the people that need it at the right time, then we can win, and I thought our guys did that as good as you can do it [against Union].”

Graduate senior forward Brandon Boston said he does not know what exactly caused the slow start, but he said, “We were able to get it together and bounce back, and put all the intensity into one game and really show what we are made of.”

After the big win over Union, MC had another two-game series at home, this time against Christian Brothers. The Choctaws fell in a heartbreaker in the first game 67-62, but they once again bounced back in the second game, this time with a 72-60 win. Once again, MC shot the ball well from deep in the win, shooting six of 12 from behind the arc as a team.

In terms of turning the season, both Coach Jones and Boston believe that execution is the key. Boston said, “We just need to bring the same intensity we had Saturday [against Union]. We need to put everything we’ve been doing in practice into the game. I feel like just carrying that same motivation and working hard that we do in practice. We do a good job of doing it in practice, we just have to put it into the game.”

Coach Jones added, “We have to continue to do those things. We gotta rebound. We gotta execute and be detailed in what we do, and play with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. If we do that, I feel good about any game that we play. I think we’re as good as any team in the league.”

After some postponements, the Choctaws are currently scheduled to return to action in a two-game series against Delta State on Feb. 19-20. The GSC tournament for men’s basketball is currently scheduled to begin on March 2. 

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