Hoops hype: Trojans men’s basketball team first in the country with 10-0 start
The SAIT Trojans men’s basketball team, winning their first 10 games, finished the fall semester ranked first in the country.
The team climbed to first in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC), and their undefeated run also ranked them first in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).
Everything is working for the Trojans, who are looking to win their third straight ACAC gold medal.
Head coach Marty Birky credits the team’s success to their depth of the ball, and how much the team spreads the scoring around.
As of Dec. 2, the Trojans were first in the ACAC in points per game, field goals made, three-pointers made per game, and steals per game, and third in three-pointers.
Despite all the success, there are some obstacles that the Trojans face.
“Our defense needs to continue to improve,” said Birky.
The coach explained the team has to make sure the opposition doesn’t do what they want, overall.
With a team gaining this much momentum, it can be hard to remain humble, a problem Birky has had to deal with it before.
He said that it happened last season during a 13-game winning streak, and the team lost games down the stretch as a result.
“The last two seasons we’ve gone to the national tournament and we’ve not won a national championship,” he said.
“Our focus is treating every weekend as preparation to hopefully do something we haven’t done, and that’s winning a national championship.”
“Winning these games are great and everything, but they really don’t mean anything if you don’t win in March.”
That included not taking less successful opponents like the Briercrest College Clippers (2-9) lightly.
“We definitely shouldn’t be working less hard because they only have two wins,” Birky said.
“We compete like we do if they were number two in the country.”
The Trojans kept their winning streak alive in two home games against Briercrest at SAIT on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
With a dominant 66 point first half, the Trojans secured the victory, 112-73, following it up with a similarly lopsided 104-59 win against the Clippers the next day.
The team will return on on Jan. 11, visiting the Red Deer College Kings (4-4), before hosting the Kings the next night.