The 2017-2018 basketball season has been more of the same for the NIC Men’s basketball team. Stockpiling wins, dominating inferior opponents, leading the conference in several major categories, and keeping up their all-business demeanor that has characterized the teams of the past has paved the way for a terrific first half of the season. Sitting with a conference record of 3-1 and 13-4 overall, the Cards have once again proved they are a team to beat in the NWAC. As a team, they lead the conference in every rebounding category, and draw and convert the most free throws per game. Defensively, they are holding opponents to the worst field goal percentage in the Conference. Success in effectively closing out defenders are pushing this team to the top.
The Cardinals may also have the best player in the conference on the roster. Freshman guard RayQuan Evans is dominating opponents, and the future is bright for the Billings, Montana native. Evans is averaging almost 22 points per c
ontest, as well as 8.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists a game.
On the perimeter, the sharpshooting of Tyler Brimhall has been exceptional. The sophomore guard is averaging 14.6 points per game, and is knocking down the three-ball at a phenomenal rate of 45 percent.
Another strong stat belongs to Jarod Greene, who currently boasts the best field-goal percentage in the conference, making a basket on over 67 percent of his shots. His ability and consistency down-low has brought more balance to the offense, and a formidable presence in the paint.
“We know we’re going to get every team’s best shot, so that plays into it,” Evans said.
He also noted the aspect of continuing to keep the winning culture alive, adding, “The culture that’s been going on even before we’ve been here, just to continue that, it drives us. Being able to represent this team and North Idaho is definitely big.”
While the start has been nice, Evans and the team know there’s still a lot of work to do.
“Improving every day, and being consistent with our attitude and effort, we need to continue that to reach where we want to go.”
If the Cardinals keep playing like they have been, there should be no doubt that they will be one of the favorites to capture the crown and win the NWAC come post-season. Ultimately, putting another trophy up in Christianson Gymnasium is the goal, but for now the team is trying to take each win day by day.