Boosted by individual record-setting performances last season, the Maroon men’s basketball team looks to build on its past success this winter. Last year, UChicago finished the season at 16–9, and 8–6 against University Athletic Association (UAA) opponents. This mark included some notable wins against top teams including an 81–74 win against No. 5 Wash U in their last game of the season, and a 90–87 win against No. 4 University of Rochester.
Several returning starters are also looking to build on their excellent previous season. In a tight race to break a school record and set a new one, third-year Jake Fenlon and second-year Noah Karras both surpassed the former school record, 71, of three-pointers in a season. Fenlon came out on top with 76, and Karras was close on his heels with 75 three-pointers. Karras was named UAA Athlete of the Week for one of his exceptional shooting games. Additionally, Fenlon was named as an Honorable Mention All-UAA shooting guard for his efforts. He finished the season shooting 12 points per game and shot 40.9 percent from the three-point range. The team was also no stranger to academic accomplishments as eight players, including six returners, earned UAA Winter All-Academic Recognition.
As a returning member, Karras is looking forward to the challenge of increased leadership. “The younger guys look up to me, so it’s very important to lead by example and set a great tone that they can follow. On the court, I need to be more vocal and communicative. But my role also changes in that the team will look to me to make plays on both sides of the floor, more so than last year.”
Looking ahead to the upcoming season, fourth-year Collin Barthel has high expectations for the team. “Our class as a whole has a lot of motivation to push towards accomplishing our goals because we know this is our last year and we want to leave our mark on the program. We have our sights set on winning the UAA and making a deep run into the [NCAA] tournament, which we haven't accomplished since we have been here, and I believe we have the talent in place to make that happen.” While it is difficult to predict the success of a first-year class, Barthel believes they have the potential to do great things, “as three big guys will really add to the depth we already have.” Overall, he believes, “the whole team is off to a great start and we are all looking forward to having a successful season.”