By Ryan Chell, Sport Co-Editor
Many of the members of the McDaniel community missed it but fans of the Green Terror men’s basketball team still had a lot to look forward to on the hardwood.
The team is off to its best start in recent years, as the team is breaking all expectations this season. Under first year coach Kevin Curley, the Terror are tied for third in the Centennial Conference with a 8-5 record and a 13-7 record overall. With their win against Swarthmore last week, they guaranteed their first winning season in almost two decades. The Terror are led by their strong upperclassmen, many who played and learned under the direction of Bob Flynn, Curley’s predecessor, who died a year ago from a heart attack in midseason. Senior Brett Foelber, who played for Flynn at Cardinal Gibbons High School, is leading the team in scoring with 11.6 points per game along with senior Chris Prior’s 10.7. Prior’s average of 9.8 rebounds so far this season along with junior forward Chad Arrington’s 8.1 rebounds a night, has showed each team in the Centennial Conference that they can play good team defense and keep the ball in their offense’s hands.
According to Curley, this team has learned a lot from Flynn’s foundation, but that this team is also playing well on its own this season.
“So far, it’s been a good year,” said Curley. “A lot of our guys have stepped up and made some big plays, and that is always nice to see.” He said that this team is playing great defense this year, which set the mark for the success of this team. In their 12 wins this season, the team has held their opponents to 58 points per game.
The team started out the season on a good note, winning their first six games. At the beginning of January, the team was off to a 7-2 start. Momentum was on their side as they began conference play, but only a week into January, the team was hit with a big injury.
Arrington, a major part of the team’s rebounding and defense, fell to an injured shoulder in the Terror’s 80-73 loss to Ursinus on January 12. Arrington would be out until last week’s game against Swarthmore, and he may have returned earlier than the injury needed to heal. Including the Ursinus loss, the Terror went 4-4 without him down the stretch.
Even though the team missed Arrington, Curley talked about how well his team has played as a team, and how they carry an unselfish, collective nature with them in practice and in every game.
“Sometimes, when we lose focus in the team thing, we are not quite as good,” he said. “If you look at our stats, we have 7 or 8 guys who are contributing, so if one guy has a bad night, the other guy can pick them up and vice-versa.”
And that formula has worked all season long, especially in big wins for them. But which was the biggest win? Curley mentioned two of his 12 wins in particular, the 85-84 overtime win over Hood in the season opener and his biggest conference win at the Hopkins game.
Curley hopes that his team will continue to see success as the season comes to an end and that he can take his team’s momentum into the playoffs. He also hopes that the students, who have returned from Jan Term and now know the team is doing well, will come out to see them play, like at the Gettysburg game earlier this season.
“There were a lot of people at that game,” Curley said. “It’s always nicer when the students are back.”