Men’s Basketball: The season is underway and for this campaign the Monarchs look to be competitive.
By Jorge Belon, Editor in Chief
The lights of Monarch Stadium have been turned off and the South Gymnasium is alive and breathing as Monarchs basketball is now in season.
With Valley College already played six games out of 23 this season, there are already showing signs of improvement for the gold and green. Last season it took the Monarchs 13 painful games to finally get their first victory of the season. As of this new campaign it only took two games to get a win, however, their record is still currently 2-4 after six games.
This brand new squad of 13 players, which has no returning players of last season’s team that finished 5-19, is playing defense for a change. Last season the Monarchs allowed 71.1 points and they lost the ball 20.3 times in a 40 minute game. Though this season their defense has been more focused and productive by only allowing opponents to score 57.9 points and they have tightened up their play by only turning over the ball 14.7 times.
Also Valley has been quick with their hands and reading the passing lanes, by increasing their steals from 6.5 to 7.3 this season, with freshman forward Jordan Brown leading the way with 10 steals in six games.
The improved defense allows the Monarchs to be competitive in games till the very end, but their four losses this season have all been by 11 points or less. Which raises the question, on what has prevented the gold and green from having a better start to their campaign? The answer is their consistent play in the offense and grabbing rebounds.
In two of the four defeats, Valley had the lead starting the second period. However, in the final 20 minutes the offense would be less effective, since the Monarchs cannot stretch the floor, due to their abysmal three-point shooting. At the moment they are only making 26.2 percent of their three’s which places them dead last in the Western State Conference. Also the other team is able to grab 13.0 offensive rebounds per game, compare to Valley who struggle to create any second chances, as they only get 8.8 offensive rebounds.
With multiple second chances for the other team to score, and poor shooting from the gold and green, it is no surprise that Valley currently has a record that is below 500. However, they are still 17 more games left and due to their stingy defense, if the Monarchs can improve in at least one of those two departments than this season could be drastically different than the previous one.