The New Year is finally here and the spring semester has begun. The rec center buzzes with sweat and desperation, people suddenly seem to have a personal produce section in their fridge and we all have those friends constantly reminding us of their social media fast by posting about their fast.
At the same time, the men’s basketball team has a new year to conquer the Southland Conference. The New Year brings the infamous resolution opportunities, fresh starts and nowhere to go but up. The team is setting off its year of resolutions in Div. I athletics.
But what, exactly, is a resolution? One definition is simply, “the quality of being determined or resolute.” I think this is precisely what we should strive for and exactly what the men’s basketball team desires.
As we all know, thanks to finals week and holiday shopping, the end of 2013 was one crazy tornado of energy that appeared out of nowhere and then, suddenly, left, leaving an odd feeling of tranquility. Basketball isn’t much different.
Men’s basketball finished off 2013 busy and strong with a four-game homestead comprised of four straight wins. Dec. 3 was the first home game of the season after 10 games on the road. Students showed their support for the home opener to the tune of over 2,100 people in Moody Coliseum. ACU beat Hillsdale Baptist 93-53 with four players in double figures. The team had 55 points in the paint alone and showed how much they had already improved.
The three remaining games took place over Christmas break while the team was still hard at work improving for the lingering conference play come new year.
The first game over the break was postponed due to the unexpected icepocalypse and took place on Dec. 17. The Wildcats took on Bacone College and pulled out another sizable victory, 90-63. This brought the team’s record to 4-8 thanks in part to 11 threes throughout the match. Guard LaDarrien Williams had a game-high of 22 points while guard Julian Edmonson had 16 points off the bench and shot 3-7 from the three-point line.
The Wildcats turned right around to take on Open Bible College for the first of a set on Dec. 18. ACU continued their stroll through the homestead with an 87-43 win against the Bruins. Forward Jacob Lancaster continued his massive improvements in the season so far, racking up 21 points off the bench and 18 offensive rebounds.
The team was criticized earlier in the season for not having enough depth to keep up with the big Div. I teams, but the bench is quickly adjusting. The second time ACU took on the Bruins Dec. 30, the Wildcat bench made another statement with both James Pegues and Rafael Farley in double figures along with Parker Wentz and Jacob Lancaster. Wentz also went 5-7 in threes, helping the team shoot over 50 percent outside the line.
The Wildcats then had some time to rest over the holidays but as any good person who makes resolutions knows, the new year can be a slap in the face. The same buzz of determination in the rec comes with shin splints and achy muscles, this great diet comes with cravings for a full-out binge fest with the girls and leaving your phone in your bag proves impossible when you’re alone in the Chick-fil-A line.
Standing resolute and remaining determined does not come easy – resolutions are not supposed to be easy. They are unyielding, pose challenges, push us to unimaginable limits and are worth every second. A resolution is more than something that lasts a month. A resolution is putting your mind to something and fighting for it in spite of and because of the odds against you.
The same goes for the men’s basketball team as they began their conference play 6-8 in the Southland Conference. The odds were against them as they entered this new phase taking on Div. I opponents.
The team traveled to Louisiana to take on New Orleans where they lost 81-87. The Wildcats then took on Southeastern Louisiana University and suffered a heart breaking 77-85 loss after the Lions ran free the last two minutes in double overtime. The game leaves the Wildcats 6-10 overall and 0-2 in conference play.
Now determination does not just happen; resolutions have a purpose and often have an end goal in sight. New Year’s Resolutions are not silly, unrealistic goals we set for ourselves but rather personal challenges propelled by something inside each of us that wants to strive for more, every day.
Only once we stretch, ice our legs, learn it’s okay to have pizza and ice cream on Friday night or realize how much more we learn when we aren’t constantly tweeting about how much we learned, can we live this new lifestyle with unfaltering joy, passion and tenacity.
Same goes for the Wildcats. The team is in the middle of rapid change, opposition and growth but will soon find their footing and be in it for the long haul, standing resolute, iced knees and all.