Men’s basketball team reflects on season and looks forward to the future

Basketball team talks about its victories and defeats as the season comes to an end

More stories from Graham Rowe


Photo by Kelsey Smith

The UW-Eau Claire men’s basketball team ends its season with 18-8 overall and 8-6 in the WIAC.

The UW-Eau Claire men’s basketball team finished its season with a record of 18-8 after the last game against UW-La Crosse on Feb. 21.

Head coach Matt Siverling said he thought the season was successful overall and the team was competitive throughout the year even if they were not able to go to the NCAA Division III tournament.

“I felt that we had the potential to win every game that we played,” Siverling said. “We played extremely well during our non-conference season, beating some teams that were ranked and we ourselves got ranked and put ourselves in a position to potentially play in the NCAA tournament.”

Despite the fact the team was not able to go to the NCAA tournament because of losses during the conference season, Siverling said the team did very well offensively with passing the basketball and making great shots at the rim and at the perimeter.

Even with their success offensively, Siverling said the team needs to improve its defense.

“We finished last in the league in 3-point field goal percentage defense and that’s a pretty important statistic, especially with the way that teams in our league shoot the three,” Siverling said.

With four seniors leaving this year, the head coach said the improvement of the team overall depends on which players choose to step up to fill those holes. In addition, he said the new recruits can change the dynamic of the team depending on whether they have the ability to play right away or need time to develop.

Freshman point guard Montrell Oliver said the overall result of the season was successful and the team chemistry was amazing with newer teammates coming in. He said the transition was tough at first, but the older guys helped him to get acclimated to the process.

Even with the success he saw during the season, he said there were some improvements he wanted to see in the future.

“I think we can just get a little tougher as a team, I feel that there were some moments where we just let the other teams do what they wanted, so we just need to buckle down and get after it a little more,” Oliver said.

Senior center Jared Schneidermann said the team meshed well and had good chemistry. They knew exactly where the ball needed to go, and they knew their strengths and weaknesses.

“Overall the program made another leap this year, and next year it’s going to be exciting to watch them,” Schneidermann said. “I’m obviously leaving, but I have some confidence in my team next year to keep going.”