The men’s basketball team had a solid weekend, despite only winning one out of three games. They lost two close games on the weekend, both coming down to the final shot.
It looked like the Tommies would be in a rebuilding year, but Will Barber is proving that won’t be the case. St. Thomas lost four of their top scoring threats for last year, and it seemed like they were going to have trouble getting the ball in the net.
Enter Barber. The rookie from Kentucky came off the bench for phenomenal numbers in his first few games as a Tommie. In game one the Tommies took on the UKC Blue Devils, falling short with a 85-83 score in favor of UKC. Barber came off the bench to score a game high 33 points, while getting to the free throw line 12 times and converting nine of them. In their second game Barber scored 29 points off the bench, but the Tommies lost 63-60 against the University of Maine Fort Kent.
Their win came on the last day of the tournament. Barber started the game against the Mount Alison Mounties in place of Jacob Eatmon, who was having ankle troubles. That was the solo win for the Tommies, as they won 75-57.
One thing from this weekend’s games was clear; Barber is the go-to-guy. In both of their close games, the Tommies had a chance to tie or win in the final seconds. In both games, it was Barber who took the last shot. Though he missed both, Tommies head coach Dwight Dickinson still trusted him to take the shot.
Dickinson thinks they have their work cut out for them, if they want to compete in the ACAA. From this early season preview, he places them at fourth or fifth in the conference. He sees Holland College, Mount Saint Vincent and Crandall as strong forces in the conference.
Dickinson was impressed with his team’s rebounding this weekend. He loved the intensity of the two close games they played.
“The game is a wonderful teacher,” said Dickinson. “It can teach the game far better than any coach.”
Bradley Hovey is in his third year on the Tommies. He thinks the team needs to work on knocking down open threes.
“In the first couple games we really struggled shooting the ball outside so, we got to get better shots outside,” said Hovey.
Their first regular season game comes on Nov. 1 when the Tommies play University of King’s College again.
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