Defensive struggles overshadow offensive prowess

posted in: Sports, Winter | 0

Just over half way through the season the Pacific University Men’s Basketball team has a 7-8 record while showcasing some impressive firepower on the offensive end.

The Boxers have proven to be lethal on offensive, averaging 106.5 points per game with a season high of 127 points against Evergreen State College. The team have already attempted more three point shots this season than through 25 games last season, a sign that they have moved to a more modern and high pace style.

The men’s team has turned the ball over a total of 211 times this season. It can often be expected to have a higher turnover rate at faster paces, but that total is on pace to finish lower than last season, an impressive accomplishment for any team switching to a new style.

The Boxer team also has 50 more steals at this point in the season than their total for last season, averaging 14.2 per game and forcing opponents to turn the ball over 26 times per game. Both are tremendous leaps for the Boxers and show that their high pressure style has benefitted them

Coach Justin Lunt said the Boxers would create chaos with him at the helm, and he has indeed delivered. What has yet to be seen is if the team can consistently hold opponents on the defensive end.

The Boxers currently give up a average of 113.4 points per game on 60 percent shooting, 43 percent from three. As good as the men’s offense has been, they have not been able to consistently stop their opponents. The team has only been able to hold their opponent to under 100 points twice all season.

When looking at their statistics as a whole it is possible that the increase in numbers across the board for the team is not because of incredible development, but just a high volume of possessions.

For example, their increase in steals in forced turnovers might not actually be due to improved defensive play from a season ago, but from the increased number of possessions each team is receiving in the game due to the Boxer’s play style.

With league play now in full swing, the Boxer’s have an opportunity to show how much they have grown and learned from this preseason. The implementation of a new system is never easy and especially with one as unique as the Boxer’s. If the team begins to click on the defensive end then they will be a force to be reckoned with in the Northwest Conference.


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