Out of Bounds

A couple weeks ago, I asked all Norse fans for a favor. I asked you all to calmly move your hand away from the NKU men’s basketball panic button.

Although I doubted the entirety of you had already reached Defcon 4 at the time, I’ thought a serene voice of reason was in order considering how much stock people seem to put in polls these days.

The thing about pollsters, though, is they don’t play; they grade. And the polls of weeks past told us the men’s hoops team were merely showing up to class everyday and pulling down a low ‘C’.

But look where we are now.

The Norse men have reeled off four straight to extend their current streak to seven consecutive, including an overtime win at Drury and an average margin of victory a tick over 12 points during the streak.

The seven consecutive wins also led NKU to the top of the Great Lakes Valley East Division standings and a No. 7 national ranking.

To say the least: thus far, Head Coach Dave Bezold has put together a nice piece of work.

His team’s still undefeated at home, has won nine of the eleven conference games its played, and recently enjoyed a feature on senior transfers A’Daeron Duncan and Leslie ‘Skinny’ Malone in The Cincinnati Enquirer. Not to mention four of their losses have been decided by less than ten points.

So, they may not ‘wow’ you with gaudy numbers, but they’ll post good ones across the board.

They shoot well from the floor ‘- with a .466 field goal percentage ‘- and record better than average numbers from bonus distance, knocking down 34 percent of their shots from beyond the arc. They also sink 76 percent of their foul shots, have forced 298 turnovers on the year, and play their best basketball after halftime.

However, what probably pleases Bezold the most is that his team almost always dishes out more assists than turnovers.

So, maybe the Norse aren’t the most attractive team in the country but they might be the most balanced.

No offense A’Daeron and Skinny.

When I wrote about the schedule a couple a weeks ago, it wasn’t a secret that such a run was possible, due to a stretch of weak opponents. And looking forward, it might appear that it doesn’t get too much tougher, but looks can be deceiving.

This week is particularly interesting. St. Joseph (12-8, 5-6 GLVC) may not look like a team that can go on the road and take out a ranked opponent, then again before losing to Indianapolis last Saturday, the Pumas have won four straight. In that streak was a win over Lewis ‘- a team which co-leads GLVC East and lost to NKU by only two points last Jan. 29.

Did I mention Indianapolis?

They’re coming off a pair of wins and scoring like John Mayer after a concert.

lthough the Greyhounds had lost five consecutive games before pulling out the last two, the losses were close and fast-paced.

Considering Indianapolis has scored 80 points or better five times in their last seven outings, there’s no question the Norse are in store for a more high-octane attack than they saw earlier this season.

I wouldn’t expect them to travel east to lay another egg like they did back at their place in early December, but if they do I can guarantee that more than 800 people will see it.