Men’s basketball appears strong on all ends of court

The Geneseo men’s basketball team has opened up their season with a 3-1 record due, in large part, to their run-and-gun offense, which leaves opponents gasping for air. Pushing the pace and shooting from deep is the focal point of the offense, and when the Knights get on a roll, they prove to be a tough team to stop. Throughout the four games that the Knights have played, they executed their offense effectively. Averaging 84 points per game, the Knights achieve those points by passing the ball often, by making 36.8 percent of their three-point shots and by driving to the basket in order to draw fouls and to get to the free-throw line. On defense, the men have been containing the ball and forcing opponents to take bad shots from the perimeter.

Senior guard John Decker has been unstoppable offensively to open the season. Decker currently leads the SUNYAC in scoring with an average of 29.3 points per game. Even more impressively, he is shooting an efficient 47.3 percent from the field, and a scorching 46.5 percent from three.

It is hard to stop Decker once he gets going, as “Decker can just score in a lot different of ways,” head coach Steve Minton said.

It would be hard to disagree, since on Nov. 22 at Morrisville State College Decker scored a staggering 41 points to push the Knights to victory.

Senior guard Jack Eisenberg has been another key factor in the success of the team.

“He’s a hustle guy and he’s a tough guy,” Minton said. “There’s not a whole lot that’s going to bother him.”

That hustle makes him a pest on defense, as Eisenberg forces turnovers, crashes the boards and gets rebounds from bigger players. Additionally, Eisenberg is also doing a great job at orchestrating the offense. He dishes out a team-leading 5.8 assists a game, setting up his teammates for easy baskets; Eisenberg’s ability to make an impact on both sides of the ball has been a great strength for the team.

Minton has been pleased with the team’s speed in playing. The conditioning and endurance required to keep the tempo high has allowed the Knights to score at a high volume, all the while forcing opponents to expend a lot of energy trying to guard the Knights. Sometimes playing at such a high pace leads to a lot of mistakes, but the team has been doing a good job at preventing that, according to Minton.

“I think that they have done a good job of taking care of leads in the game and making sure that what we take are good shots and not turning the ball over,” Minton said.

When discussing what the team needed to improve on, however, Minton pointed toward rebounding.

“We are giving up too many second-chance shots and we are giving up a lot of offensive rebounds,” Minton said.

The box scores agree with Minton, as the Knights have been outrebounded in three of their four games. Getting more of those loose balls would give the Knights more possessions and more control of the game, an aspect that the Knights need to improve on as the season continues.

The Knights will battle for those rebounds on Friday Dec. 2, as they go up against conference-opponent SUNY New Paltz at home.