Peet men’s basketball team focusing fundamentals for early wins

Peet’s freshman basketball team’s record as of now is 4-1. Kai Smith, one of the team members, and coach Ethan Jennings have a lot to say about their season so far and plan for future games. 

Kai Smith said, “We practice a lot before games during the week and the weekend, and so we feel pretty prepared going into games and the locker room especially before home games. We will get together, listen to pump up music, come together to get each other pumped up and ready to go. It’s like a family, and we all do our best to make sure that everybody’s ready for the game.” 

Smith said the team draws upon their connections when the going gets tough during games. “When we are down a few points, sometimes it can get challenging to keep our heads up, but we just got to have faith in our guys on the court that they are going to do their best to help our team succeed. Our bench is a huge part of it because we’ve got guys that are serious, but we’ve also got a few guys that can lighten the mood and help us stay loose. When one player goes off, it really changes the whole atmosphere and gets everybody going.” 

Smith said maintaining momentum  on offense and being stingy on defense have been keys to success so far. “Usually with our strategy, a lot of it is staying in motion and getting easy points. Lockdown defense, if we allow a team to get less than 18 points in a game, then we had an awesome game defensively,” he said. 

According to Smith, “We will continue to build on the fundamentals that we have been doing since we were little. Having good defense, getting defensive stops and getting turnovers and easy in transition layups. Not to give up turnovers and to take great shots. If we stick within ourselves and play our kind of basketball, not what other teams want us to play, then we will end the season knowing we did our best.”

Jennings’ strategy for future games is “defense. Don’t let the other team get layups, only jump shots but don’t let it be a good one.” 

Clearly the team focuses a lot on defense and that’s helped them so far this season. The team’s next game is an away game at Iowa City West on Monday, Dec. 13. 

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