Men look to improve conference record against Bearcats

By Albert Shelby

January 15, 2014

The push for the tournament starts Saturday for the Griffon men when they face off against Southwest Baptist University.

The Griffons lost five of their last six games, and hope that a win Saturday could be a turning point in their season.

This will be their first time matching up against the Bearcats, and both teams have struggled to get conference wins so far this season.

With injuries lingering, the Griffons have done some shuffled to the starting lineup to compete with every opponent.

With Cedric Clinkscales ineligible for the spring semester, freshman Charlie Marquardt was placed in the starting lineup and has put in valuable minutes.

Size in the paint will be key when they go up against 6’7 Jawuan Hill. Marquardt will try to slow down Hill, who has been a threat for the last five games.

Hill had a season – high 25 points against Northeastern State, while hitting a perfect 5 for 5 on the free throw line.

Guard Ryan Devers has been a bright spot on the team and has proven himself  aleader. Devers said that his mindset for the Southwest Baptist game was simple.

“Win win win,” Devers said. “We watched film twice so, as a team, we have to get better with our scouting reports and communicating out on the floor. We’re also trying to get better shots.”

Devers stated that the loss of Clinkscales has impacted on the season because of the toughness his brings.

“We worked hard with him all through the preseason,” Devers said. To lose him for the second semester kind of hurt us and gave us a little deflation. It’s a challenge that we are fighting everyday.”

Forward Dareon Jones has also stepped up this year when needed. Of late, he has picked up more minutes and he noted that he wanted to bring that added spark off the bench.

“We want to go out there, work hard, and hopefully come out with a win,” Jones said. “I feel like we get after it every possession. I am satisfied with our effort so far this season.”

Jones stated that, if his team continues to put in the same effort they do in practice, a victory in Saturday’s game  is possible.

Coach Brett Weiberg said he was aware of the Bearcats ‘talent going into Saturdays matchup. He noted that, if they play smart, the game would be theirs to win.

“They play hard,” Weiberg said. “They are long. So we just have to be good. We have to be solid. And we must control the game on both sides of the floor.”

The game will take place at the Looney Complex at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.