The men and women’s basketball teams see their seasons end with disappointment.
The men’s team finished 9-21 on the year while the women finished 6-23.
For the men, it was a difficult season after starting with high expectations. The team was receiving votes to be in the nation’s top 25 and were also projected to finish fourth in the conference.
Men’s Head Coach Ian McKiethen said the team was competitive enough to be in a lot of close games this year.
“We have lost so many single digit games this year where it came down to one or two plays in the last five minutes or so. We just didn’t come out ahead on a lot of them,” McKiethen said. “There was a lot of learning that happened this year for everybody.”
The men’s team started the season with a 1-8 record. McKiethen did not think the team was quite settled in at the beginning of the year. They were trying to figure themselves out on offense and defense.
McKiethen said that the team played well this year on defense. They only allowed an average of 72 points per game. He said the zone defense implemented in the middle of the season could help them next year.
The women’s basketball team had depth and injury issues all year. Head Coach Tracee Fairbanks was proud of her team’s ability to adapt and push through tough seasons.
“They continued to cheer on each other whether we were in the game, or not in the game they supported each other,” Fairbanks said.
Fairbanks said while the record didn’t show success there were a lot of wins throughout the season that the team will cherish and remember.
“The reasons for us to be able to do what we did in the second half of the season is because the seniors gave it their best effort,” Fairbanks said. “We didn’t have the best talent compared to other teams but, because of there training, work ethic, grit and competitive excellence, which is one of our core values, those seniors and captains helped that trickle into the rest of the team.”
Athletic Director Matt Franzen said there was some good, some bad and some ugly this season. They had more ugly than some other seasons especially in the women’s case with injuries.
Franzen said there was some disappointment on the men’s basketball team living up to the expectations of the beginning of the season. There is still a lot of hope in the team moving forward.
Franzen, like Fairbanks, was happy with how the women’s team performed. Franzen was proud of how they handled adversity because of season-ending injuries.
“Some of the things that happened at in the second half of the season were just amazing,” Franzen said.
Franzen said that the men’s team will have a lot to be excited with the players coming back and the recruits coming in. The team had noticed their potential at the end of the season.