This season has brought mixed results for Dick Hunsaker’s squad up to this point. Against inferior opponents and teams with a similar talent level as UVU, the Wolverines have found a way to win if not dominate at times.
It’s a whole other story when the level of competition steps up.
Against Simpson, Grambling State, Kansas City-Missouri, and Northern Illinois the Wolverines have won by a combined 72 point margin of victory.
That number is almost as impressive as their margin of defeat is mind-blowing against Houston, Arkansas, Oakland, and Wyoming – a combined 61 points.
“We are not a polished team right now,” Hunsaker said. “We’re still struggling to get in a rhythm or a flow and on the offensive end the decision making needs to improve.”
Finding consistency on both ends of the floor will be key for the Wolverines if they hope to have the type of season they believe they can have. Isiah Williams’ numbers are down and he has been slowed by injury for the first part of the year, but the star thus far has been the senior from the Bronx, Geddes Robinson.
Robinson not only leads the conference in field goal percentage (66 percent) and rebounds per game (10.6) by a large margin and won conference player of the week two out of the last three weeks, but those numbers put him among the best in all of college basketball this season.
“Geddes is a guy who had a great offseason,” Hunsaker said. “He loves to condition and get with the strength coach, he’s in the best shape of his life. His endurance has improved, his self-confidence has improved, he is still growing and trying to find his game. Geddes is a guy who has earned this tremendous start to the season.”
The only one not singing the praises of Robinson is Robinson himself.
“I’m happy to win the award (conference player of the week),” Robinson said. “But I don’t focus on it too much because it’s a team game. I’m just lucky that I have teammates that can find me and that I have teammates that are pullin’ for me.”
Another aspect that may factor into their up and down play has been their home and away record. It’s not surprising to see their record at home is 4-0 while their road numbers is 0-4. That is something that is typically found with younger teams as they develop chemistry and trust in how to play with each other. The Wolverines, however, return several starters from last year and this team has had significant time together to work out the kinks.
Most of the time in sports things are pretty cut and dry, one team played good defense, one team had an amazing offensive night, or one player couldn’t be stopped another night. With this year’s Wolverine squad it’s all muddled and confusing.
Did they win by so much because they played such amazing defense or did the other team have an off night? Did they lose because they didn’t sleep in their own beds and didn’t get enough rest? Or was it a closer game because the two teams were more evenly matched?
With this year’s bunch the answer could be yes, no or maybe to all of the above. This concept is not lost on coach Hunsaker.
“It’s not a polished unit or a well oiled machine,” Hunsaker said. “There’s a lot of work ahead of us with this team. We need to progress and find our identity offensively.”
When identity is an issue nearing a third of the way through the season, that could spell more troubles ahead and things may get worse before they get better. Utah State looms large on the horizon and may be the toughest game left as the Wolverines prepare to take on the Aggies on Dec. 6 at the Spectrum in Logan.
If the Wolverines have any hope of postseason play beyond the Great West Conference tournament they need to make that game against the Aggies at least competitive if not win it outright. On top of that they need to find an answer to their road woes and play nearly perfect the rest of the season.
No big deal.