Biola basketball preps for tip off

Men’s basketball is starting from the ground up, but with incoming talent and returning playmakers, the Eagles look to be building towards success.


David Wahlman

David Wahlman/THE CHIMES

Brandon Brown, Writer

Junior Mike Kurtz is projected to be one of the go-to players for rebounds. Senior Andre Murillo, after sitting out a season due to injury, is also expected to have high performance in the paint. | David Wahlman/THE CHIMES [file photo]


On Nov. 9 the men's basketball team will begin their season at West Coast Baptist College and then play Cal State San Marcos for the home opener on Nov. 12.

After a disappointing, injury-filled season last year, the Eagles are ready to start fresh and get back to their winning standard of prior years. Off-season was crucial in developing the team for this year.

This year's team is entirely different. With only four returning players, the Eagles had to find a way to start from scratch within the team. 

"Because of the way the returning players welcomed the new players in, it was easy for us to gain trust and develop chemistry on the court,” sophomore forward newcomer Christian Misi said.

The Eagles have been practicing and preparing for Nov. 9 since school started. This group of men are hungry for success and the possibilities this year brings.

"Our goal is to win a national championship," freshman point guard Dakari Archer said.


The off-season was full of inter-squad scrimmages, late-night shooting sessions and workouts that would individually prepare each athlete for the rigorous journey through the season.

"The team focused on defense a lot this offseason and we really emphasized getting back in transition,” Archer said.

The team had its first scrimmage last Saturday against Cal State Los Angeles. The Eagles ended up losing 77-71, but it was close all the way through. The Golden Eagles are the first opponents the Eagles have faced, and the game proved to be a valuable learning experience before their game against WCBC.

This season, the Eagles will look to junior point guard Pierre Zook and sophomore Jacari Miller to handle most of the scoring while relying on junior Mike Kurtz and senior Andre Murillo to grab a good deal of rebounds.

The Eagles have many talented athletes that are able to stretch the defense by spreading the floor and getting out in transition in front of the defense. By spreading the floor, opponents will have a hard time guarding such explosive athleticism. On the other end of the floor, the Eagles will switch up their defensive schemes between a man to man defense and zone.

"We worked a lot over the last couple weeks on our half court defense and I feel pretty confident in it," Misi said.

The Eagles will watch the film from Saturday's scrimmage and continue to work hard in practice to prepare for WCBC and the rest of their year. The energy around the team is upbeat and ready for the season to start.

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