Men’s basketball finishes historic season
Luke Hare, Staff Writer
In a season filled with multiple records broken, the Saint Martin’s Men’s Basketball team hold their heads high on what was one of the most memorable runs in school history.
This was a season where you could tell something was special. A come-from-behind victory in the second half to knock off Point Loma on the road was a huge test for the Saints in the beginning of the season. They also took care of business against one of the most talented teams in Northwest Nazarene at home and on the road. At home, the Saints were almost unbeatable, only losing one game throughout the year.
During the season, the Saints broke multiple records as a team. They set a school record for wins in a season since joining the NCAA with 26. The Saints also set a school record in national rankings, when they reached the eighth seed nationwide just before the GNAC tournament. Not only did they achieve those goals, but they also won their first ever GNAC regular season title in school history since joining the NCAA. And on top of all of those awards as a team, the Saints made the deepest run in school history by advancing to the NCAA Division II sweet sixteen.
The awards were also racked up this year by multiple Saints. Head Coach Alex Pribble was named GNAC Coach of the Year and currently has the highest winning percentage as a coach in school history. Senior Luke Chavez was a unanimous first team All-Conference selection, as well as an All-West Region selection. Senior Jordan Kitchen won his first Defensive Player of the Year award after having a huge impact in the paint for the Saints. In his first year as a Saint, senior Chandler Redix played a huge role in the backcourt and earned a second team All-Conference selection. Senior EJ Boyce was also selected to second team All-Conference, after dropping 77 three pointers in regular season, 20 more than anyone else on the team.
The Saints will lose eight players to graduation this spring, four of whom have been here for all four years. Those include guard Kazuma Lane, post Robert Little, post Kitchen, and guard Rhett Baerlocher. The Saints will also lose four transfer seniors, including guard Boyce, post Jared Mathews, guard Redix, and guard Chavez. After this year, the Saints will only be returning seven of the 15 players listed on the roster this year. However, two of those players, sophomores BJ Standley and Tavian Henderson, have been key players over the last two years and are ready to carry this team heading into next year.