Washburn basketball team starts a new era

Cassie Nichols

Ichabod Men’s Basketball earned their first win of the season last Sunday in the Hillyard Classic against Winona State University. This was Brett Ballard’s first win as head coach at Washburn.

Ballard replaces 38-year head coach Bob Chipman who retired last year after 808 victories at Washburn. Last season, the Ichabods finished 20-10 with a fourth place finish in the MIAA standings. The Preseason Coaches Poll picked Washburn to finish third in the MIAA this season.

“You can tell Coach Ballard really loves the game, has a passion for coaching, and puts everything he has into it,” Sophomore Clayton Holmberg said.

The team finished Sunday’s game with an 84-75 victory. Junior Guard, Javion Blake, ended with a total of 13 points and earned himself the title of HyVee student athlete of the week. Seniors Brady Skeens and Randall Smith both followed by adding 12 a piece to the board.

Skeens is the leading scorer for the Ichabods, two-time MIAA Defensive Player of the Year, and senior captain for the 2017 season.

Freshman Guard, Tyler Geiman, was an asset to the team offense this weekend as well after playing a total of 20 minutes and scoring 11 in the game against WSU.

The team has been preparing a lot both mentally and physically leading up to season.

“We have been preparing since the beginning of summer from the weight room to starting practice up. We have been working hard for this and we are looking forward to showing everyone how hard we have worked,” Geiman said. 

The Ichabods look to follow up with another win as they take on the Hawks of Rockhurst University this Saturday in Kansas City, Missouri. Last year, Washburn took the win against the Hawks with a final score of 93-72 in Lee Arena.

Tip off is scheduled to be 4 p.m. where the team is looking to earn themselves a winning record.