The Mount’s men’s basketball team is part of a very competitive Division III league and has been right from its start in 1998. The basketball program has instilled in its Mount men the qualities of diligence, being a team player and how to handle losses.
This year, Coach Toby Carrigan returns for his third season as the Mount’s head basketball coach. In addition to leading the Mount to the 2012-2013 HCAC Tournament, the National Association of Basketball Coaches awarded last year’s Lions men’s basketball team with an inaugural Team Academic Excellence Award, which recognizes outstanding academic achievement by a team with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better for the season.
We talked about Mount men’s basketball then and today with EDWARD DREYER ’03, who was recruited to play on the first men’s basketball team and ANDREW COUNTRYMAN ’15, who is gearing up for the team’s new season
What changed/is changing with the sport?
ED: I do not think the average basketball fan understands how competitive Division III basketball is. There are some really good players within our Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
ANDY: I feel that the game is being played at a faster pace than that of previous years. Also, it seems that players are becoming bigger and stronger as the years progress. However, one thing that has remained consistent throughout the decades is competitiveness. The will to win has always been a big part of the sport and will continue to be for many years to come.
Why did you choose the Mount?
ED: Along with the location, it was an honor to be a part of the first men’s basketball team within the school’s history. I also wanted a chance to play right away. I knew I would have to compete, but all of the incoming recruits were on the same playing field.
ANDY: The main factors for me were location, [financial aid] and playing time. With the academic scholarships that I received, the tuition was affordable. [And] after playing in an open gym during my senior year and seeing a game, I felt that I had a good opportunity to come in and make an immediate, positive impact.
What were/are the coaches’ expectations?
ED: I think the coaching staff thought we could compete, but from a wins-and-losses perspective no one really knew how it would turn out.
ANDY: One of the biggest demands is diligence. By working hard and staying determined, we will have no choice but to be successful.
ED: We beat Earlham in our first game ever as a team. We beat Anderson at home our first year when Anderson was ranked in the Top 25 in the country. We beat Bluffton our first year to clinch a winning record.
ANDY: We beat Rose-Hulman in a hard-fought game that had a great atmosphere. Rose went on to win the league and play in the NCAA tournament that year.
How did playing on the basketball team affect your life and who you are today?
ED: It helped me develop into the man that I am today, [giving me] the ability to handle success and failure while maintaining the discipline to try to succeed on a daily basis as a husband and father. Within my job, working with others is a reflection of playing and working as a team — figuring out the strengths and weaknesses of your teammates, but also your competition.
ANDY: My life has tremendously benefited from playing basketball for the Mount. Diligence is learned over the course of a season and is not something that you can go to a class and learn about or read about in a book. Basketball, in general, has helped shape the person I am today.
In August, 16 Mount soccer players along with coaches Rudy Argueta and Tina Blakley traveled to Madrid and Barcelona, Spain, to train and play with local and professional soccer teams. While there they also learned more about soccer and the Spanish culture. READ MORE
Congratulations are in order for three Mount athletic teams, including women’s lacrosse, soccer and cross country. Each have met the requirements for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Academic All-Conference Teams Recognition for the 2012-2013 season. Team GPA awards are based upon the team having at least a 3.25 at the end of the term in which the sport season ends.