Men's Basketball hopes to regain its spot in the MIAC

By Mathew Starner

Going into Wednesday night’s game at St. Thomas, Tom Conboy ’08 was just 16 points away from racking up 1000 on his career.Even though regularly scoring over 16 in a game, there was still uncertainty whether Conboy would be able to reach the milestone on one given night.

“It’s hard to say how St. Thomas will choose to defend us in general and Tom specifically, and whether he’ll be in a good position to take that mark,” Coach Curt Kietzer said before the game.

But Conboy shot 17 past St. Thomas, just breaking the 1,000 point plateau, as well as becoming the 18th Scot in history to do so.

The effort, however, wasn’t enough, as the Scots fell 77-72 to the Tommies, dropping to 2-4 on the year.

But Conboy’s game was a landmark performance, and he is now on pace to break the school’s all time scoring title.

“I certainly think that he is one of the premier players we’ve had here at my time,” Kietzer said, “and I suspect that he’s in a good position to challenge ultimately for the all time scoring mark. Given that it’s early to predict what could happen over the course of this year and the next.”

Along with the excitement around Conboy, the team has seen other success, especially in the newly transferred Abe Woldeslassie ’08. Along with Conboy, Woldeslassie led the team with 22 points in the Monday night game against St. Mary’s and 23 against St Thomas.

With such numbers, impressions have been made on the staff. “[When] Abe transferred in, we weren’t sure what to expect,” Kietzer said. “In that way, he has been a pleasant surprise, and he has played very well for us.”

And after a disappointing year last year, presences such as Woldeslassie’s are appreciated, along with the promise of added depth with a now healthy roster.

“I think last year we suffered a few injuries that had an adverse effect on our season,” Kietzer said. “I think that with some of the players healthy that were injured or unhealthy last year, we have the potential again to be in the top half of the conference and be a playoff team.”

Especially with the players coming back from health issues, the team has strong promise in experience. “I feel that we’re deeper than we were a year ago, and a number of our players are back from a year ago and have a little more experience,” Kietzer said.

Along with the excitement of Conboy’s milestone and higher performances on the team, the team may once again regain its spot among the top of the MIAC.

“It’s early,” Kietzer said. “We’re certainly not panicking after a couple of losses, particularly in tough places to play on the road, and we’ll have a long stretch of home games in January to have some success to make the conference playoffs ultimately.”