With three North Coast Athletic Conference games in five days, Wittenberg men’s basketball coach Bill Brown hasn’t pushed his players hard in practice this week. The Tigers had one day to get ready for Monday’s game at Oberlin, and they had one day to prepare to host Kenyon at 7:30 tonight.
The practice plans for Sunday and Tuesday were the same.
On Tuesday morning, Brown said, “Today we’ll have a team picture. That’ll be 15 minutes. We’ll watch video with the front-line guys for 30 minutes. They will go through the normal pre-practice warm-ups, which is 15 minutes. We’ll have normal shooting drills for 10 minutes, and then we’ll walk through the Kenyon stuff. Then we’ll go back and watch video. We can’t really practice with the front-line guys. We’ll loosen them up a little bit.”
Wittenberg (9-4, 2-2) will get two days off after playing Kenyon (7-6, 1-3), but it’s back on the road Saturday to play Denison (4-9, 2-2). That will be its fourth game in eight days, making this the busiest stretch of the season.
“It’s particularly tough when you’re so thin in personnel,” Brown said.
Three starters playing 30-plus minutes in Monday’s 59-47 victory at Oberlin: Zack Leahy (36), Steven Newell (34) and Sam Collins (30). Leahy and Newell have each played more than 30 minutes in four straight games after playing that much only a combined four times in the first nine games.
Injuries to John Albertson and Cam Walton have meant more minutes for the other players. Walton, one of the team’s top 3-point shooters and the only senior on the team, returned Monday and scored five points in 15 minutes.
“We just got word Monday morning he was good to go,” Brown said. “We played him in short bursts in the first half. His conditioning was surprisingly OK. He gave us a big lift emotionally.”
Scott Masin and Collins starred in Monday’s victory. They each had double-doubles, combined for 33 points and 19 rebounds. Wittenberg had a 43-17 rebounding advantage.
“We played a really good second half for sure,” Brown said. “You can’t ignore two double-doubles. Scott did a great job on the boards. He got a couple of putbacks, and then he found a little space to operate offensively. He did have six turnovers, so he had his down moments. Sam did a great job on the defensive boards, and he did his damage offensively. He found a little court space to use his athleticism like he does and uses his spin moves around the basket.”
Kenyon at Wittenberg, 7:30 p.m.