UIndy Men’s Basketball ranked in the Top 25, upset No. 1

Head Coach Stan Gouard was confident that the University of Indianapolis Men’s Basketball team would beat the number one ranked Bellarmine University. 

On Jan. 20, the Greyhounds did just that, beating the Knights 81-76 in overtime, not only did the Greyhounds knock down the No. 1 team in the nation, but now the Hounds are currently ranked at No. 22 in the nation.

Photo by Jacob Walton Senior guard Jordache Mavunga celebrates after being fouled on a play resulting in an and-1 against Southwest Baptist University. He led the Hounds in scoring with 18 points.

“I feel like we can only go up,” senior shooting guard Jordache Mavunga said. “We just have to stay humble the rest of the year and just keep on working.”

The win against Bellarmine started a four game winning streak for the team, further solidifying their place in the top 25. For Gouard, while it feels great to be ranked so highly, he said it brings a new level of competition to the court.

“It’s been great to get that recognition among your peers, but there’s a lot of basketball left to be played,” Gouard said. “The thing about being in the top 25 is you get everybody’s best shot every night because everybody’s gunning for you. But as a competitor, you love those challenges each and every night.”

According to starting point guard redshirt senior Jimmy King, there have been several shake ups for the team, including new members and gameplans on the court.

“We got off to a really hot start early on and kind of hit a little rough patch, dropped a few games we shouldn’t have,” King said. “I think over the last four or five games, we have really bought in on defense, playing the right way, sharing the ball, and that’s kind of propelled us to a couple big wins.”

While the team is improving, according to Mavunga, there is still room left to better themselves as players. 

“We’re good, but I feel like there’s still a lot of room for improvement,” Mavunga said. “I think our biggest thing is consistency. We’ve got to stay consistent, and we just gotta keep having fun.”

Mavunga has been the Hounds’ leading scorer since their win against Bellarmine with a 19 point performance against Drury University and an 18 point performance against Southwest Baptist University according to UIndy Athletics.  King is first in the GLVC in assists and 15th in the nation in assists per game.

“It’s a big part, especially being the point guard. I try to do that [get teammates involved] at the start of the game,” King said. “I think that’s my favorite part of the game, just going out there, trying to get everybody involved, get everybody open shots, making everybody happy. That’s kind of my favorite part of the game.”

According to Gouard, off the court, the team remains close. Whether it be going to the movies or sharing meals together, the men’s basketball team keeps the unity going on and off the court.

“Going into the season, I wanted a better group of guys in terms of chemistry, and I think it’s great,” Gouard said. “Our guys who played on this team last year always talk about how close this group we have, how close they are right now. They came here in the summertime, and they were here in summer school and they trained.”

Gouard said that Mavunga is a leader in the locker room. “Your vocal leader is of course Jordache Mavunga. He talks a lot, and sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s not,” Gouard said. “But it’s good when you have a team because everybody looks up to him.”

Gouard’s goal is to reach 20 wins this season and to get the team playing further into the post season than last year where the Hounds were eliminated in the GLVC championship game. Mavunga said that with three home games left this season, the team hopes to have more Greyhounds come out and support them.

“I want to encourage my fellow Greyhound community to get out to our last three home games so we can pack it out,” Mavunga said. “So they can come watch a top 25 team in the country, a lot of teams, a lot of schools, don’t get to do that.”