With a perfect conference record and a 13-game winning streak on the line, the Maroons are heading into this weekend with a chip on their shoulder.
Fourth-year guard Jordan Smith, however, is not satisfied with just the wins. He said, “We just have to stay consistent and play to our ability for a change. If we do that, we will do great.”
The Maroons (14–2, 5–0) will face off against Emory (11–5, 4–1) on Friday and then turn around and compete against Rochester (10–6, 3–2) on Sunday. With the University Athletic Association (UAA) being one of the toughest conferences in the nation, even a top ranked team like Chicago cannot take any game lightly.
Second-year forward Collin Barthel said, “We approach every weekend with the same mentality. Coach obviously gives us different game plans, but guys try not to over stress every individual game and just play our game.”
The Eagles are heading into Chicago with some momentum. Last weekend, Emory knocked off Carnegie Mellon by 14 points, a team the Maroons defeated by just two points, and then defeated Case Western by four points. Lead by sharp shooting second-year forward Adam Gigax, Emory boasts a balanced attack with third-year Jonathan Terry, fourth-year Will Trawick, and fourth-year Davis Rao, all averaging over 10 points a game. The squad shoots consistently from beyond the arc with Gigax ranked No. 6 in three-point percentage in the UAA, while Terry and Trawick own the 16th and 17th spot in that category, respectively.
Rochester knocked off both Carnegie Mellon and Case Western this past weekend. They will play Wash U before heading north to take on the Maroons on Sunday. Fourth-year Jared Seltzer led the attack for Yellow Jackets, earning a double-double against Carnegie Mellon with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Seltzer is averaging close to 19 points a game and is shooting 45 percent from the field. Rochester has dropped matches to NYU and Emory thus far in conference play.
The Maroons head into the weekend having defeated Brandeis and NYU last week. A balanced attack allowed Chicago to flourish against Brandeis. Fourth-year guard Alex Voss ended the game with 11 points and three assists and was joined in double digit scoring by second-year guard Jake Fenlon, who shot 50 percent from beyond the arc on the day, and Barthell, who was 4–5 from three-point range. The team held the Judges to just 50 points on the day.
Against NYU, a different string of players led the team in scoring. Smith brought in 15 points, while his fellow fourth-year forward Nate Brooks brought down 10 rebounds. Third-years forward Waller Perez and point guard Tyler Howard, also scored in double digits with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
All of this is to say that the Maroons are deep and have found ways to score from different places and with different people on the floor which has contributed to the 13-game winning streak.
Looking forward, the Maroons have lofty goals for the rest of the season. Barthel said, “Our goals will continue to stay the same. Win the UAA and make a deep tournament run. We believe two more wins this weekend will put us into contention with the other top 10 teams in the country and that’s where we want to be.”
Tip off against Emory begins at 8 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. on Sunday. Both games will take place on the Maroons home court at the Ratner Athletic Center.