By Jacob Jimmerson
The Builder men’s basketball team shocked the KCAC with a win over conference favorite Tabor College at Stewart Field House Thursday night. The Builders won the game 67-64 and are now 10-0 on the season and 1-0 in the KCAC. They will travel to Sterling College Saturday to play the Warriors who are 0-1 in the KCAC.
Head Coach Matt O’Brien was proud of the win. “We have really turned our focus to defense this year and we take a lot or pride in that and then our defense leads to offense. If we do that every day, we are going to win a lot of games,” said O’Brien.
Chris Waller is a new addition to the team as a junior and is a starter. “Chris Waller was a lucky find for us and we are very lucky to have him. I knew that he would bring a lot of energy to this team and play the way that he has, but his passing has really surprised me. He is a big time player for this team.” Said O’Brien.
O’Brien isn’t ready to look long term yet. “It is a long season and this was just one game. It was a big win, but we have to beat Sterling on Saturday,” said O’Brien.
O’Brien has a day-to-day approach to the season. “We want to embrace the grind. That is our slogan for the year and now we need to go to class tomorrow because we are Builders and that is what we do,” said O’Brien.
O’Brien had a couple of thoughts on Sterling. “Sterling is always tough and it is going to be a tough place to play at as always. We need to keep up the defense intensity and find a way to win that game and start this year out right,” said O’Brien.
Cameron Clark, junior forward, had 25 points and 11 rebounds on the game. “This is the hardest that I have ever worked in my life at basketball. I stayed here over Thanksgiving and worked on things that I knew I needed to improve. I just keep telling myself to attack over and over again,” said Clark.
Clark has more weapons around him this year. “It takes a lot of pressure off of me and I have great teammates around me. We are a lot more deep than we were last year and that is something that I really like about this team. On defense I can always go hard and I need to continue that, but this game was a lot of fun,” said Clark.
Clark knew that they had a lot of potential. “We knew in pre-season that we were good. But, we still felt disrespected by being picked sixth in the KCAC. We use it as motivation and we are not content with this game. We are looking to move forward,” said Clark.
Chris Waller a junior transfer from Cedarville, Texas had 13 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks. “My teammates and the crowd want me to bring a lot of energy to the game and that is what I try to do. I like playing defense and I take pride in it,” said Waller.
Waller understood how big of a win this was. “Tabor was picked to be first in the conference and beating them is huge. We have to protect our house and we did that tonight,” said Waller.
Waller had a one handed slam in the first half. “The dunk didn’t surprise me because I know that I have that ability. I like to bring excitement to the game and I think that I did that tonight,” said Waller.
Jacob Jimmerson is a sophomore majoring in communication. You may email him at Jacob.Jimmerson@sckans.edu.