GVSU men hope that their strong start is a sign of things to come
With a plethora of new faces on the Grand Valley State University men’s basketball team, it would have been understandable if the team got off to a slow start while the players got acquainted with each other.
Instead, GVSU (9-3, 6-2 GLIAC) started the season by winning eight of their first nine games, with their only loss occurring while on the road to No. 4 ranked Bellarmine University.
“I think we have eight or nine new players, so it was hard to know what to expect,” said head coach Ric Wesley. “It’s been mostly good. We still got a ways to go. We’ve had some good solid wins, but I think it’s still obvious that we still have a ways to go to be a (GLIAC) North division contender. We haven’t been able to quite raise our game to beat some of the best teams we played. Hopefully with continued work and a good attitude, we can get there.”
Sophomore Ryan Sabin leads the Lakers in scoring this year. Sabin is currently averaging 12.5 points per contest while shooting at an efficient rate. He’s currently shooting 52 percent from the field, 46 percent from three-point range, and 93 percent from the free throw line.
“He’s been solid from start to finish,” Wesley said about Sabin. “Tyrone Lee has also made a big step up in his play this season from what he did last year in his first year. Those two guys have been bright spots for us.”
Lee, a senior who was named to the GLIAC All-Defensive Team selection last year, has been instrumental in anchoring the Lakers defense. A defense that has limited its opponents to only 59.4 points per game, which is second best in the GLIAC, trailing only Michigan Tech University by .2 points.
One of the biggest advantages GVSU has been able to enjoy over their opponents is their depth. The Lakers have ten players who average at least ten minutes per game.
“It’s great cause anybody can have a big night,” Lee said. “That’s hard for the opposing team because they don’t know who to stop. With our team, it’s hard for other teams to scout us and stop us because they don’t know. They don’t know who’s gonna have 18 one night, or who’s gonna blow off for 22 points this night. It’s so random with our team. We have seven to eight guys who can give you 15 to 20 points any given night.”
GVSU will look to continue to lean on one another as they have so far this year. The Lakers have enjoyed a strong team chemistry not only on the court, but off the court as well.
“I think this team has more chemistry this year,” said senior Tony Peters. “We’ve been able to win more games consistently in a row this year. We bond a lot together off the court. We’re all friends with each other. Nobody dislikes each other. We got the team bonding and that helps us a lot on the court.”