The Southern Nazarene University men’s basketball team has been playing extremely well as they travel to Arkansas for a two-game road trip. They travel with a 16-3 (13-1 conference) record on the season, with 6 of those wins being road wins. Though they look to build on the 6-game winning streak, they’ve been doing most of this winning without some of their key players due to injuries.
Three starters are injured indefinitely, and other players who have acquired injuries during the season are now back playing. As you probably already know, injuries can be detrimental to a team, especially when it’s three key important people. Point guard Xavier Bryant, who started in all 30 games for SNU last season and led the team in assists, steals, and defensive rebounds, is out with a fractured foot and plans to return in late February. All conference shooting huard Adokiye Iyaye, who started in 27 games and scored in double figures in 22 of those games, is out with a displaced patella and is already playing a little and making progress in his recovery. Small forward Manny Dixon, who played in 30 games, started over half of them, and reached double digits 14 times last season, is out with an MCL sprain.
When asking teammates about how SNU men’s basketball has managed this winning streak while also dealing with these injuries, they said the team’s hard work and trust are keeping them on the right track.
Forward Zack Franklin says, “A lot of people stepped up at a time that we really needed them to. Injuries cause a chain effect on the team and people have to fill these roles on the team. VON (Gaurd Javon Jackson) is a freshman and really stepped up into a really important role for us and produced. Also, people like Eain, Mo, and Maik were also introduced into new roles and are playing great.”
Guard Eain Mowat says, “The teams trust me and my abilities and that helps me perform even better, and it’s the same vice versa. Not only that, the people that are injured help us so much. Every chance X (Xavier Bryant) gets he’s coaching me up and telling me what I can do better in different situations.”
Despite the odds, the SNU men’s basketball team is looking to finish their season strong. We hope to see you out there supporting the Crimson Storm.