Ross Hickenbottom, Sports Editor
“Fun.” “Immaculate.” “Unforgettable.”
Those were some of the words Ohio Wesleyan men’s basketball team used to describe the record-breaking season that, just as every other season without an NCAA Championship, ended too soon.
The team traveled to Lisle, Illinois on March 11 for their game against Benedictine, who handed them their fifth and final loss of the season.
“I have never enjoyed the game so much in my life,” said senior Matt Jeske. “All of that is attributed to my exceptional teammates, coaches and the chemistry between all of us.”
Along with Jeske, the underclassmen will say goodbye to three other seniors, as well as key players: Claude Grey, Zak Davis and Joey Kinsley.
Jeske has “no doubt that the work ethic and desire for success will remain constant, and these guys can have an even better season next year.”
Sophomore Seth Clark, junior Ben Simpson and Nate Axelrod, who was recently named Division II All-American, said they are ready to continue the winning tradition they have experienced for the past two years.
Simpson, who finished the season averaging a double-double and shooting .567 from the field, said, “This team this past year was probably one of the teams we’ve had here at OWU, and we will play with a chip on our shoulder next year.”
Seth Clark is one of the younger guys on the team and has scored 15.5 points per game and 30 out of 30 games played.
He said he also believes that the underclassmen on the team learned positive habits and consistency through this season’s seniors. “We have some young guys [who] have learned from the seniors and are ready to take on a bigger role,” Clark said.
Coach Mike DeWitt said he credits his strong winning tradition to the “quality of players I’ve had the opportunity to coach here.”
Jeske said DeWitt taught him “a lot throughout the years, but most importantly, he has shown me how to expect success, yet be humble when it comes.”
Along with some new faces, the All-NCAC trio of Simpson, Clark and Axelrod said they are looking forward to picking up where they left off next season.