Published on December 3rd, 2012 | by Brian Neal0
Tough Competition Early for Men’s Basketball
Brian Neal, Assistant Sports Editor
Above photo by Steve Woltmann: Sophomore Jeff Jarosz goes up for a layup on Nov. 3 against DePaul University.
After a 1-2 start through Nov. 29 and dropping two close games in the process, the Lewis University men’s basketball team is looking to bounce back. The story early on has been how difficult of a schedule that they’ve had.
“We’re playing good teams that are NCAA-caliber teams, on the road,” said seventh-year head coach, Scott Trost. “It’s a fine line between winning and losing … We got to get better at some things and execute better.”
Trost added, “I don’t want to make excuses, but we’ve played the most difficult schedule in our league by far, thus far.”
Their first game of the year was at Ferris State on Nov. 17. LU started the year on a good note with a victory, 60-47. The Flyers played a solid game overall with three players scoring at least 13 points, and they held the Bulldogs to only 33.3 percent shooting on the night.
Sophomore Jeff Jarosz led the Flyers with 18 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals. Other players with good performances were sophomore Ryan Jackson and senior David Bryant. Jackson had 14 points, three boards, three assists and one steal, while Bryant pitched in 13 points, five rebounds and one assist.
Following the game against Ferris, the Flyers then went to Detroit two days later for a game against Wayne State. This game went back and forth right down to the end, but the Flyers couldn’t find a way to win as they fell 70-69. Despite the loss, Trost wasn’t upset with his team.
“We played great tonight,” Trost said according to the Lewis Athletics website. “I could not be more proud of our effort, because (Wayne State) is a NCAA-caliber tournament team. I thought we showed a lot of spirit and from top-to-bottom, we played fantastic.”
Jackson led the team this time finishing with 19 points and five assists; he also shot very well going 9-for-16 from the field. Another Flyer, sophomore Julian Lewis, stepped up in a big way for the team posting his first career double-double with 16 points and 11 boards. He also had three blocks and a steal.
Two more players scored well for the Flyers as Bryant finished with 11, and freshman Brad Foster put 10 on the board.
On Nov. 25, Lewis then traveled to Hillsdale, Mich., to play the Hillsdale Chargers. The team played efficiently, but got plastered on the boards (32-20) in a 71-65 defeat. Even though Lewis shot the ball very well at 50 percent, their defense couldn’t contain the three-point shooting of Hillsdale as they made 11-of-24 (.458).
There were a couple of great individual performances in the game though, especially from Jackson who had a breakout game. He put up a season-high 24 points on only 9-of-15 shooting. He also had two rebounds, one assist, three steals and only one turnover in 35 minutes.
“Ryan [Jackson] is going to impact the game,” Trost said. “He’s a kid that can create his own shot and [has] been our leading scorer. He does a lot of things offensively … He’s shooting the ball well and is tied for the lead in assists on our team. If he keeps going, keeps working and stays humble, then he’s got a good chance of being one of the better guards.”
Also contributing in the game was Bryant, once again, who had 13 points and freshman Kyle Nelson who put up 10 (both went 5-for-6 from the field).The Flyers opened up their home slate Nov. 30, against Cedarville; for the results of that game go to www.lewisflyers.com.
Moving forward, the Flyers play four more home games in a row. They’ll take on Olivet Nazarene Dec. 6, St. Francis Dec. 8, Judson Dec. 19 and Northern Michigan Dec. 30. All games will be played at 7:30 p.m. (except for Northern Michigan which will be at 3 p.m.) at the Neil Carey Arena.