Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Winter break doesn’t stop men’s basketball

Men’s basketball reflects over winter break
The+men%E2%80%99s+team+has+a+10-5+record+and+is+undefeated+at+home.+Over+winter+break%2C+they+beat+12th+ranked+University+of+Central+Oklahoma.
Jeremy Ford
The men’s team has a 10-5 record and is undefeated at home. Over winter break, they beat 12th ranked University of Central Oklahoma.

While many students and professors went back to their homes to have a relaxing winter break, the men’s basketball team stayed at work to continue their successful season.

Head Coach Brett Ballard and his team stayed in the gym over break to prepare for and play a total of six games. They won five of those games, including three home games in a row, one of those opponents being the University of Central Oklahoma Bronchos, who were ranked 12th in the nation at the time.

“We took care of business at home,” Ballard said. “We dropped one on the road, but I was proud of how we responded and won in a tough place to win at Lincoln.”

The Ichabods faced only MIAA opponents over break, and losing just one of those games speaks to the talent that this team possesses.

“In my opinion, [the MIAA] is the best Division II league in the country,” Ballard said. “We’re one game out of first, but anybody can beat anybody on any given night. And I know that everyone says that about their conference, but it’s true about ours.”

Washburn currently has a 6-3 conference record. Only Northwest Missouri State University stands above them with a 7-2 conference record. They have had several close games with MIAA opponents and still have many conference games ahead of them to rise or fall in the rankings.

The Ichabod’s success over their break has come from the practice they put in during a time that Ballard considers a miniature professional season. While his players and managers may not love it, he enjoys the time he gets to spend with his team in the gym.

“It’s a unique opportunity for our guys, because we don’t have anything to do but play basketball. There’s no academic responsibility, so we treat it like a professional season,” Ballard said.

He also mentioned that although there is a challenging transition between school season and break season, his team has made a great effort to stay sharp-minded and shake off any rust going into each game. One player had an especially outstanding performance over winter break and was even recognized for his efforts.

Jack Bachelor, freshman guard, was named MIAA Athlete of the Week after putting up 18 points per game coming off the bench for the Ichabods. He was crucial in each of their victories and continues to impress both himself and his coaches.

“Being named Athlete of the Week was very cool,” Bachelor said. “It’s more of a team award than anything, though. Without my guys, it’s not possible. I think it shows the work we’ve put in as a team.”

Ballard has high praise for his true freshman and is grateful for the energy and mindset that he brings to the team. Ballard also stated that his great work ethic is contagious and that Bachelor is just as great as a team player as he is an individual athlete.

As classes start back up at Washburn, the season will begin to wind down and the Ichabod’s goal remains the same: win the conference.

“If you’re one of the top teams in this conference, you’re one of the best in the nation. You also give yourself a chance in the postseason, which is something that we always strive for,” Ballard said.

Washburn has some key matchups coming up that Ballard and his team are looking forward to.

“Northwest Missouri and Emporia State will be fun,” Bachelor said. “We lost to them both the first times we played them, and the games were close. The MIAA is one of the best conferences in D2, so there are no off nights.”

Both Washburn men and women continue their season with back-to-back home games Jan. 17 and Jan. 20 against Missouri Southern State University and Pittsburg State University, so be sure to go out and support the Washburn Ichabods!

If you would like to see how the women’s team spent their winter break, click here to read more.

Edited by Aja Carter and LeSha’ Davis

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About the Contributor
Jeremy Ford, Copy Chief
Hello! I am a sophomore mass media major with a concentration in journalism. I write all kinds of stories, but I enjoy writing about sports the most. I hope to find a career in sports media of some kind, so this position is right up my alley.
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