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Men’s Basketball Prepares for League Championship

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Photo credit: Margo Kelly

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Written by: Communicator StaffMarch 04, 2015

Written By: Tessa Garner

FORT WAYNE—College basketball season is coming to an end. They are preparing to say goodbye to the seniors that have led their team the past few seasons. Those seniors have one last chance at a league championship. For the IPFW men’s basketball program, their only chance at getting to the NCAA Tournament is a league championship this weekend.

Last season, the IPFW men’s basketball team came up short of a league tournament title when they were defeated by North Dakota State, 60-57. This season they are hoping for a different ending to the story.

“We have a lot of guys who have been to the conference tournament before,” said Junior forward Joe Reed. “We have a lot of experience coming back. We all know how those games are and how it felt last year losing to North Dakota State.”

Senior guard, Joe Edwards said they are looking at one game at a time and mentally preparing.

IPFW strung together a seven game win streak to start the second half of conference play and eight of their last ten games of the regular season

IPFW basketball head coach Jon Coffman said there are three things they helped them transition and play their best basketball.

“Our guys started manufacturing their own energy. That flowed in with inspiring each other. We talked about being coachable and the final thing is executing details,” Coffman said.

At practice you will see five guys wearing green jerseys. Coffman said these are their “dogs”.

“These are our leaders,” said Coffman. “Our guys that will make the tough plays. They will coach up the other guys. They are the guys when things are going goof they’re clapping, when things are going bad, they’re clapping. They are picking up their teammates and inspiring each other.”

Reed said they picked it up more in practice and the intensity built up to that level they know they have to be at to make it in the conference tournament.

“With us it’s going to be big chemistry,” said Reed. “We don’t have one guy that scores 20 points a game. We have a lot of guys that score. Our best games throughout the season are when we have five or six guys in double scoring figures. Nobody is looking to do too much and everybody is just playing together. That is one of our biggest strengths this year. If we can play like that in our conference tournament, it’s going to be tough to beat us.”

“We know what it takes to get there. We know how hard we had to play last year to get through all those games. It’s a tough place playing in South Dakota with a bunch of Dakota teams,” said Reed.

Edwards said this right now is what they have worked for all year.

“This is our favorite time of the year. This is when big things can happen for us. It’s March Madness time. It’s our time to show people how hard we have been working this past year,” said Reed.

IPFW will make the trip to the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, SD this weekend. They will face the Coyotes of South Dakota in their first game of the Summit League Tournament.