MBB Makes Every Number Count
What’s in a number? In sports numbers win games. The Celts men’s basketball team has been on a tear, putting up an impressive 20-6 record for this season so far.
The recent victories of this young program are the result of extensive training and practice. The team accolades aside, some key members on this year’s squad deserve credit for their numerical contributions every time the ball is tipped at half court.
In the shadow of the narrow win over Texas Wesleyan on Feb. 4, Travis Lampley the 5-foot-11-inch senior guard, wearing the number 5, posted 21 points, 7 assists and 3 steals. His 2013 season career numbers currently stand at 331 points scoring, 244 assists and 60 steals. If that’s not impressive enough, Lampley is currently ranked No. 1 in total assists and total assists per game with 9. 385 and fifteenth in total steals with 60. Unsurprisingly, Lampley has become the go-to-guy to control the tempo on the court and regulate the ball rhythm and tempo the Celts desire.
Another key contributor to the team success this season is the senior forward wearing Scottie Pippen’s, of Chicago Bulls fame, number 33, Caleb Williams.
In the Feb. 14 Bacone game, Williams went to work posting 17 points. Six of his total points came by way of two from long range. He also logged 8 defensive rebounds to conclude the night’s work. Williams has been a signature threat to teams who haven’t done their homework. His secret weapon of choice — the 3-pointer, the other team never sees coming. His long balls have contributed to his ranking eighth in the division in 3 pointers, which also contributes to consecutive double-digit scoring in the last nine games.
Every good team has a player that lives on the edge of the 3-point line. The Celts found that in number 12, guard Adrian Morales. In the Feb. 14 Bacone game, Morales sank 5 3-pointers contributing to the Celts victory over the Warriors to the tune of 77-59. Morales’ treys have helped him retain a consecutive double digit score in eight of the last 10 games. As soon as teams figure out his long distance sweet spot, Morales goes to the paint. In the narrow Feb. 4 win over Wesleyan, he went 3-for-3 from the free-throw line.
Forward, Byran Kaase, number 22, seems to take delight in doing a little of everything: scoring, rebounding, stealing, assisting and the list goes on. Kaase has consistently contributed to the team effort on the board, making him a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics quick leader. Kaase makes his presence felt in the paint, posting conference numbers like 7 out of 10 field goals against Our Lady of the Lake on Feb. 7 and 8 out of 8 at the free throw line versus Texas Wesleyan.
In all, on any given night after tip off, every Celt player to touch the court makes his own contribution, adding a free throw, field goal or 3-pointers here and there, handing 1o losses to opponents with only three losses since the beginning of the year.
"Going into this season, I knew we had a chance to have a really good year,” Head Coach Todd Smith said. “Going into the basketball campaign, my thoughts were we could compete for the league title, so the fact that we’re sitting here in early February at 12-5 in the conference and 18-6 overall certainly makes me proud. The entire team has worked hard to accomplish this most winningest season.”
What’s in a number? With the Celts, the numbers 5, 12, 22 and 33 have contributed to 77 percent of the total scores in the last six games, scoring 347 out the team total 448 points in their last 6 games. The discipline and hard work in practice have been apparent in each game as individuals have propelled the team to division ranks of second in assist/turnover ratio, third in 3 point standings, sixth in assists per game and ninth in total assists.
Ultimately, the team and Celts fans are hopeful that all these numbers will contribute to the sweetest number there is: No.1, the championship.