King's Shouldn't Be Satisfied, but Optimistic: Three Thoughts on the Opening Night Win Over Webb

 Photo by Josh Sampson

Photo by Josh Sampson

In their opening game of the season, The King’s College Men’s Basketball team defeated the Webb Institute by the final score of 63 to 45. Despite King’s winning on the scoreboard, tonight’s performance could be considered a loss in many facets.

Here are my three takeaways from the game:

1) Laziness Everywhere

Every year, the Webb Institute basketball team is written off by teams as an automatic win, often by more than 40 point margins. To be fair to Webb, their student body is smaller than any other colleges they play (including King’s). Most, if not all, of their players wouldn’t make the starting line-up of any other college’s team in the HVIAC. 

However, Webb is one of the hardest working teams out there, and last night, they gave King’s a run for their money because of that work ethic.

The reason why King’s didn’t blow the Nautical Engineering majors out of the water is due to laziness. Laziness was apparent in the lack of boxing out on shots, not getting around screens or simply giving up on defense. If King’s did any of those three things marginally better, the 18 point winning margin would have doubled.

In close games, King’s will struggle mightily if they can stop the bleeding on the defensive end and take care of the little things that always prove to be vital in basketball. With the team on the cusp of a possible playoff berth this season, being lazy will cost you the games you need to win.

2) The Incoming Class Has Talent

Without only two players returning to the team from a year ago (Justin Cox & Carter Fletcher) the weight of responsibility shifts onto the shoulders of many first-year players. In their first games in a Lions uniform, the talent of the incoming recruiting class shown brightly despite tonight not being a performance most of them want to remember.

The first-year player that stood out the most was freshman forward Demetrius Sumter. In his collegiate debut, the North Carolina native stuffed the stat sheet en route to a double-double, earning 18 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three blocks on the night.

Aside from Sumter, only Junior Benjamin Borchelt impressed me from the first-year class. The Maryland native notched a near double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing nine boards.

As for the rest of the first-years, Wednesday night was a night filled with shooting woes and turnovers. First game nerves? Quite possibly. If King’s wants to make it 2-0 on the season on Friday against Cooper Union, they will have to step it up.

3) A New Attitude

After watching the King’s basketball team for the past three years, one thing that is synonymous among all three years is a poor attitude. When someone makes a mistake, ‘the blame game’ often made an appearance and it took a few minutes before a teammate picked up the player that made a mistake. Along with that, before the tip-off of most games, King’s lacked energy and drive. The effects of pregame commutes were always evident on the faces of the players thus leading King’s to find themselves down early in the start of the first half.

Even though this was the first game of the season, against an inferior opponent, King’s came out of the gate hungry to win. St. Louis native DeAngelo McGary’s voice reigned supreme over the court as he motivated his team before the opening tip. Sure enough, that energy carried over into the game (or at least the first half).

Additionally, when the team would enter into a timeout after a string of poor plays, players were supportive of one another and no negative comments were said. Could this very well change if King’s finds themselves in an uphill battle during a game? Absolutely. But, let’s hope for King’s sake, it doesn’t, as this positive and energetic attitude is something that needs to stay with the King’s team.