December 1, 2011

SPORTS: Men's Basketball Needs Supporting Cast

by Candis Cunningham

So far this season the Jags have reminded me of the Indianapolis Colts “Suck for Luck” campaign. If they lose more games than any other NFL team, which they are on the right path at 0-11, they get the estimated no.1 draft pick Andrew Luck.

Unfortunately for IUPUI things aren’t the same.

There is no LeBron James or Greg Oden coming to IUPUI to rescue them next year to help save total embarrassment from this season. Instead, if the Jags (2-5) continue on their losing streak, they’d be sucking for the hope of some good luck coming around.

Alex Young has led the team this year in points per game. Surprise, surprise. The possibility of fellow senior leaders Christian Siakam and Stephen Thomas stepping up to their previously established dominant roles seems about as rare as Indianapolis streets getting plowed efficiently in the snow.

In the season home opener, Summit League Preseason Player of the Year Young dropped 20 points and helped propel the leads in the game with his mid-range and three point shots. He followed a couple of games later with 21 points against Eastern Michigan and a season high 30 against Texas Southern.
But guess what—the Jags still have a losing record.

As much of a stud as Young is, the Jags are big trouble if he is all the team can depend on. Siakam is returning starter and one of the big men for the Jags. He has only had one breakout game of seven so far this season, 21 points against Anderson. Center Mitchell Patton comes off the bench and scores some points here and there along with some rebounds sprinkled in, but is he really a threat??

Senior Stephen Thomas has done decent with needed points, running the floor and assists. Returning point guard Greg Rice hasn’t really been a factor offensively since the first game, except for presenting solid defense.

Young is the lifeline of the team. Period. Not a bad thing, but it’s not so good if the lifeline isn’t keeping the team alive.

It’s past time for the other 14 Jags to step up. Conference play is right around the corner. 

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