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Men’s basketball hopes to rise above the stars


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Last year the men’s basketball team exceeded everyone’s expectations; this year them team has been voted on by the League of Coaches to finish the season in 4th place. With the team voted to finish at that rank, there is now an expectation for the team to do well this season too.

Head basketball coach Ben Wierzba said, “it’s better than where we were predicted to finish last year and we finished better than that so hopefully it’s a motivation for us.”

The voting of the League of Coaches gives programs a chance to see where they stand and see what other programs think about their teams.

“This year our goal is to win the conference championship,” stated Wierzba. “Last year we fell a little short, but we know what’s in store when the conference games start.”

The conference games for the men’s basketball team start on December 8th when they take on Quincy University in Quincy, Mo. Wierzba also mentioned, “our goal is to get better each day and to learn from mistakes and continue to improve and get better.”

When asked about what he thought the strengths of the team were Wierzba commented “I think it’s our depth. I think one through twelve we got a lot of guys who can play as well as play several positions.”

One thing fans will also notice about the men’s team this year is their height. With players like sophomore forward Dylan Sparkman who stands at 6’10” and junior forward Dylan Mosack who stands at 6’8” there is a lot stature to this team.

Wierzba’s personal expectation for the team this year is to improve last year’s performance and to get the most out of each guy every day and to push the players to the next level. “If we can get twelve guys to push themselves to the next level we will be very successful,” he stated.

Unfortunately this season has not started off the way Wierzba and the coaching staff had hoped for. The team’s record is currently 2-5 in overall play. In most of the games the team has lost they have been a head of the other team in the 2nd half of the game, but were unable to keep the lead.

According to Wierzba the team is trying to find ways to win games. “We have been right there and we have had a chance to win those games, but once we start winning games it will start to snow ball in the right direction,” he said.

The next home game for men’s basketball is set to take place December 13 at the Recreational and Athletic Center when they take on Bethel. The shots are scheduled to start falling at 7 p.m. so head on out and watch the Prairie Stars exceed expectations and rise above the stars.

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Award winning, student run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield..
Men’s basketball hopes to rise above the stars