With the recent success of the men’s basketball team, head coach Owen Handy spoke into the process that led to such a victorious win over Hanover.
Handy explained that the team began the season with a focus on defense because they were offensively a work in progress.
“I feel like, as a team, we have grown in our offensive confidence and we have guys who have a great understanding of what we need to do well in order to be good,” said Handy.
Speaking specifically on the Hanover “This Game is No Secret” game, he explained that he’s not one to put a win in a “Top 10” list, but it was one of his most enjoyable wins as a coach.
The Ravens shot 52.4% from the field, a mind-boggling 59.3% from the three-point line and finished with shooting 69.2% from the free-throw line during the win versus Hanover. Comparatively, this year the Ravens are averaging 46.7% from the field, 37.4% from the 3-point line and 66.8% from the charity stripe during conference play.
Coach Handy stated that he has been most surprised with Francis “Frank” Uzorh, a senior forward from Lagos, Nigeria.
“Last year was Frank’s first year back to playing basketball after being off for two years,” Handy said. “He has been such a good defensive player all year, and his abilities as a rim protector and help defender have been elite. He has been huge with some of our other players being hurt throughout the season.”
Junior guard Brayton Cain is a new transfer to AU this year from the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Ind. Cain was out most of the season due to a broken wrist, but was recently cleared to start practicing and playing in games.
“Being out for most of the season has been extremely hard and has really tested me,” Cain said. “But it is also really fun because you can learn a lot from not practicing and it has helped me learn the plays and allowed me to study the offense.”
Handy said of Cain: “Brayton this year has been one of the true team players who has been really good at separating what is best for the team over what is best for himself. All year he has come in day in and day out and has done whatever needs to be done for the team, so that they can get better.”
Cain played basketball with senior forward and wing Maurice Knight in high school and was excited to reunite on the team at AU.
Knight also plays the role of a team captain for Ravens men’s basketball. Knight currently averages 20.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game this year while shooting 44.4% from the field and a marvelous 33.3% from the three-point line. He also shoots a reliable 65.8% from the free throw line.
Knight took a year off, but is glad to be back.
“It was weird when I came back and started playing 5-on-5 since being off for a year, and it took me a while to get back in the groove, but I feel like I am getting there,” stated Knight.
Knight is optimistic about the team’s future.
“I don’t think there is a limit. I think we are getting better every day and we are starting to heat up just at the right time,” he said. “I feel like at the beginning of the year we were still figuring things out, and now we are hitting our stride, so there is no limitation.”