The Wheaton College Men’s Basketball team suffered a brutal stretch from December into late January, over which they won just one of ten games and deflated a promising 5-0 start back in November. Despite an overall losing record, the Lyons have the talent to become a contender in the New England Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) over the next couple of years, strengthened by a young core of Jaycob Morales ’15, Mike O’Loughlin ’15, and Ryan Clinesmith ’15, the sophomore trio with the most minutes played per game this season.
Natural growth and progression over the next couple years should turn around the team, which hasn’t been able to climb over the .500 mark in each of the last few years. With a handful of games remaining this season, the team could eclipse that elusive mark and look forward to a big leap next year.
The Lyons have a notable weakness playing within the NEWMAC, in which they held a rough 1-8 record against conference rivals this season entering their rescheduled match up with Coast Guard this past Sunday. That record indicates struggles to say the least, but the Lyons are simply overmatched by teams like WPI (22-0, 9-0 in conference). In their nine conference games, the Lyons have been outscored by 159 combined points. That includes a heartbreaking 55-53 loss to Clark as well as an 11-point victory over Coast Guard.
In the end, time will be the strongest factor in play for the Lyons, along with the continuous drive they’ve shown this season. With new talent and the growth of that core, expect this team to be competing for NEWMAC titles in the near future.