Biola’s big three

Three players who consistently score double digits lead the Biola men’s basketball team.

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Biola’s big three

Senior guard Pierre Zook, sophomore guard Dakari Archer, and senior forward Mike Kurtz. | Aaron Fooks/THE CHIMES

Senior guard Pierre Zook, sophomore guard Dakari Archer, and senior forward Mike Kurtz. | Aaron Fooks/THE CHIMES

Senior guard Pierre Zook, sophomore guard Dakari Archer, and senior forward Mike Kurtz. | Aaron Fooks/THE CHIMES

Senior guard Pierre Zook, sophomore guard Dakari Archer, and senior forward Mike Kurtz. | Aaron Fooks/THE CHIMES

Jack Finck, Writer

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Three players of the men’s basketball team make up 42.6 of Biola’s 68 average points per game. Senior guard Pierre Zook, senior forward Mike Kurtz and sophomore guard Dakari Archer posses a special friendship on and off the court, and have carried their team to a winning record of 16-13 while each averaging double-digit scoring.

Despite being the youngest of these three players, Archer leads his team with 15.1 points and 1.1 steals per game. Archer earns most of these points through his aggressive playing style and ability to draw contact. More than three of his points per game come from the free throw line. His 96 makes from the stripe this season is the highest for the Eagles.

Zook averages slightly less than Archer with 14.3 points per game, although he leads the team in most overall points this season. His fluid stroke and dynamic three point accuracy of 41.7 percent has Zook averaging slightly under three baskets from behind the arc each game. Zook and Archer also lead the team in assists with 58 each.

The only player to average a double-double for Biola is Kurtz. Kurtz earns his average of 13.2 points per game with a team high shooting percentage of 54 percent. He is also a force on the defensive end, averaging 10.4 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per game.

OFF THE COURT COMMUNITY

The solidarity of these three players produces most of their strength. Though this remains only their second year as teammates, they have developed a bond that proves dangerous to opponents.

“We definitely have a great on the court relationship,” said Archer. “We know each other’s spots, and we know what we like to do, and we try to get each other the ball in the best spots possible.”

The diversity in scoring options make them a hard team to prepare against. Kurtz finds this as a strength in their team, recognizing that most opponents try to prepare for one or two of them, but cannot shut them all down. They are almost always able to get one of them going offensively.

“Both of those guys are fantastic players,” said Kurtz. “I think they’re both going to keep playing after Biola and do big things. Dakari definitely causes teams to double team him, and everyone has to play him honest because he can take anybody to the basket basically. But, Pierre causes teams to play up on him too just because he can shoot the ball so well and really shoot it from anywhere on the court. So both those guys are really fun to play with.”

The off-court community they maintain fosters their on-court chemistry. Zook and Kurtz have been close friends and roommates throughout their Biola careers. While living on campus, Archer maintains close communication through texts of humor and basketball.

“Mike is one of my roommates and I’m actually going to be in his wedding coming up,” said Zook. “I’m really blessed, he’s a great man of God. And you know Dakari is also one of my great friends. I’ve really appreciated just his humble attitude and just a great friendship I’ve been able to develop. He’s younger than us but he’s very mature and he’s very hard working and he knows what he wants in basketball and academics.”

These three will look to continue their success together in their last regular season game. Biola’s next game is against the No. 25 Westmont College on Feb. 28. The Warriors beat the Eagles 67-49 earlier this season.