While the majority of students were home for winter break, the Kalamazoo College basketball teams were on campus, practicing daily and playing several games.
During winter break the men’s basketball team played 11 games coming to a 5-6 record. It is their best start to a season since 2002.
In that same time period the women’s team played 12 games and finished with an 8-4 record. They added a ninth win and continued a five game win streak Wednesday night with a home win over St. Mary’s.
Both Coach Dougal of the men’s team and Coach Miller of the women’s team expressed that their goals this year are to make the conference tournament. This will require a top four finish in regular season conference play.
The men’s team took a trip to Wis. to prepare for the conference season. “We played the defending national champs in Wisconsin” said Dougal. “It was a physical battle that will definitely prepare us for this conference season”. After their two-game trip in Whitewater, Wis. the team stayed a day in the Wisconsin Dells indoor waterpark to enjoy a bit of relaxation and team bonding.
Similar to the men the women’s team also took a trip. They went to Coach Miller’s alma mater Mount Union in Ohio. They played a tough game against a team that Coach Miller said would aptly prepare them for conference rivals such as Calvin.
Despite the different pre-conference approaches from the men’s and women’s teams, both can agree on their post-season goals. One of the key ways the coaches feel they can achieve their goal of making the conference tournament is through winning the majority if not all of their home games.
“The home court advantage is huge, our fans can be worth six to eight points in a game” says Coach Dougal. Coach Miller agrees with his assessment of home games, citing the large student turnout in the St. Mary’s game Wednesday as one of the keys to victory.
Historically, K’s home athletic events don’t always draw the crowds that coaches hope for. This season however, both Coach Dougal and Coach Miller are hoping that the students will turn out and make Anderson a rowdy home court that is tough for opposing teams to play in. Both teams have some important upcoming home games; including a double header January 21 where the men host Adrian and the women host Calvin.