The Davis Field House was the stage for the highly anticipated Bruins men’s intercollegiate basketball home opener on Friday, Nov. 1. The men’s team, coming off a 6–24 inaugural season, rebuilt, reconstructed and trained hard for the 2013–14 season. Their first opponent was the Johnson University Royals.
Coach Neal Ring welcomed several key players back to the lineup this offseason, and the Bruins looked fresh and ready right from the opening tip.
Led by starting point guard sophomore Larry Taylor, the Bruins transferred the energy from the crowd into momentum on the floor. The team consistently pushed the ball and dominated the court, reinforcing the team’s already decisive play. The Bruins fast-paced offense and lock-down defense allowed the team to control both sides of the floor.
BJU dictated the first half in spite of conceding 20 points to Louis Allen of Johnson University. Kyle Turner had a large contribution to the consistency of the Bruins offense in the first half, as he provided 11 points to the team’s stat sheet.
The Bruins built on the first half and picked up the already highly energetic pace at the start of the second half. Taylor added 17 points in the second half to give him 23 total for the game, and the team was able to work the ball around and create lanes, opening opportunities for both long-range shots and inside drives.
Throughout the game, nine of the 12 players on the Bruins roster capitalized on these open looks and built a 28-point lead for the Bruins. Rebounds, offensive pressure and governing defense characterized the team Friday night.
“We still have a lot to get better at, and we as a team need to keep progressing,” Taylor said. “As long as we keep focusing and working hard in practice, it will be a great year.”
Although they won 90–64, the Bruins are already looking ahead. “We want to approach the season game by game,” Taylor said. “We just need to focus on winning the next game.”