The University of Rochester Men’s Basketball team defeated the New York University Bobcats and the Brandeis University Judges at home this past weekend. Both games were true team efforts in that a variety of players stepped up as needed. This weekend’s sweep increased the standing of the ‘Jackets, who are now tied for second place in the competitive University Athletic Association (UAA).
The UR Men’s Basketball team is the definition of hard work, focus and team-wide trust. They have won five of their six past games, in large part due to their consistent team-oriented approach to the way they play.
In the UAA, contributions are needed from all players, and, in the case of the Rochester men, every member of the team has stepped up in one way or another to contribute.
“Our guys are playing together… there’s a comfort level there,” head coach Luke Flockerzi said.
Additionally, it is critical that the team compete at their highest level for the entirety of the game–even a five-minute lapse in focus can cost a team a win.
As junior forward Jared Seltzer described, “playing hard for 20 or 30 minutes won’t get the job done. You have to play hard for 40 minutes to get a win in this league.”
Much of the reason the ‘Jackets have been so successful of late is because they have instituted a “team focus to outwork opponents for 40 minutes,” sophomore guard Mack Montague said.
On Sunday, laser focus was certainly vital in the competition versus Brandeis. A major part of the team’s success lies in their steady reliance on scouting reports provided by the coaching staff. Even at the opening tip Sunday afternoon, the ‘Jackets already knew Brandeis’ players like the back of their hand.
“We knew their sets and the tendencies of each player, which helped get us another win,” said sophomore guard Sam Borst-Smith, who totaled 23 points in 39 minutes of play.
Coach Flockerzi was pleased with the way the team invested “a lot of confidence in the scouting reports and [the way they] carried them onto the court well.” Their close adherence to the game plan is just another example of the high level of trust that exists within the team.
The Judges were no easy competitor: at the half, Rochester was down nine points.
According to Montague, the key to success in the second half was “urgency,” a fact evident throughout the entirety of the game. “We knew Brandeis was going to come out with a lot of energy… so we needed to respond.”
“When the game was close, our team remained calm and just played basketball. Everyone made big plays down the stretch,” Borst-Smith added.
Sunday’s game was neck and neck from start to finish, ending only after an intense overtime period. As a result of outstanding team play and tenacious defense, the ‘Jackets were able to put another mark in the win column.
All in all, it was not only a successful weekend for the ‘Jackets as far as team records go, but it was also a demonstration of what this group can do when they work together towards a common goal.
The ‘Jackets look to further their winning streak this coming weekend, as they take on the University of Chicago Maroons Friday at 8 p.m. and the Washington University of St. Louis Bears Sunday at 12 p.m. on the Rochester home court.
Lewis is a member of the class of 2016.