Men’s basketball find their groove after rocky start to season

For Head Men’s Basketball Coach Paul Corsaro, it has been a rocky start returning to his alma mater, starting the season with seven straight losses. However, it all turned for Corsaro and the rest of the University of Indianapolis Men’s Basketball team when they took down Corsaro’s former head coach and former head coach of the Greyhounds Stan Gouard and his University of Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles on Jan .14. Since picking up that first win, the Hounds have gone 4-2 with a four-game win streak in the mix. 

“I think a lot of it had to do with just the fact that the more we’ve played, the greater our chemistry’s gotten,” Corsaro said. “We have a group of newcomers and new faces from staff to players, and with all that newness, sports and basketball in particular has so much to do with chemistry and rhythm. I think just the more we’ve played and gotten used to each other that has really helped our growth and development.”

Photo by Jacob Walton Senior guard Dee Montgomery celebrates from the bench during a match against the USI Screaming Eagles. Montgomery is second in scoring, averaging 14.3 points per game.

In the Greyhounds’ first win, UIndy trailed 13 points in the first half. However, that all changed with big shots from freshman guard Aaron Etherington and senior guard Dee Montgomery, according to UIndy Athletics. Freshman forward Jesse Bingham led the team with 21 points, including two clutch free throws as the Hounds won 61-60. According to Corsaro, he has been very impressed with Bingham this season. The freshman forward is averaging 12.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals this season, according to UIndy Athletics. Corsaro says the team has a promising future with Bingham. 

“And not only do I think he should be the top candidate this year for freshmen in the league, I think he’s one of the best players in the league, regardless of how old he is or how young,” Corsaro said. “I’ve been really impressed with how quickly he’s developed, and I think he just gets better and better every single day.” 

The Greyhounds kept the momentum going as they earned their second win of the season, when they defeated the University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars 75-74 on Jan.19. Five Greyhounds finished in double figures and shot 50% from the field for the first time this season. A pair of free throws from Bingham with 25 seconds left helped seal the Greyhounds’ second victory. 

UIndy defeated the Prairie Stars again 55-43 on Jan. 28 to earn their third straight win and fourth in the last five games. The Hounds kept the defense, holding down their opponent to 29% from the field. In the second half, things started to heat up for the Greyhounds as they nearly shot 60% from the field and never looked back as they garnered their third victory. Montgomery led the team in scoring with 16 points. In his final season with the Greyhounds, Montgomery says his leadership has improved. 

“My biggest thing is just being a leader, being more vocal, encouraging the guys and they get down and just being there for guys, like just being able to pick them up.” Montgomery said. 

Photo by Jacob Walton Senior guard Cory Miller Jr. is seen during a game against the University of Southern Indiana on Jan. 14. Miller Jr. is currently leading the team in points per game with 14.5.

Senior guards Cory Miller Jr. and Montgomery combined for 41 points as the Greyhounds earned their fourth consecutive victory as they defeated Quincy University 86-78 on Jan.30. The game was a full-out battle as the Greyhounds made 15 out of 20 field-goals in the first quarter. Big scoring opportunities by Montgomery in the second half helped seal the victory. According to Montgomery, building team chemistry off the court has contributed to the Greyhounds’ success. 

“I really think off the court has helped us a lot,” Montgomery said. “I know with Covid we haven’t been able to go out as much as a team, but in our down time we spend the majority of the time playing the game, I think off the court has really helped us on the court.”

The Hounds are currently 6-9 on the season with seven games left in the season. With the GLVC tournament quickly approaching, Corsaro says his primary focus is to improve every day. 

“We want to get better today than we were yesterday, I think the skies the limit for our group if our entire organization thinks like that,” Corsaro said.

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