Photo By: Jonah Dayton
The Badgers’ men’s basketball team put on an offensive clinic this past weekend, blowing out the Windsor Lancers 107-79 to remain undefeated. Including the preseason, Brock has won 10 in a row and currently sit atop the OUA West standings at 5-0 in conference play.
The Badgers were led by Godsman Kwakwah’s 24 points off 10-17 shooting, while TJ Lall put up 22 points, six rebounds, and seven assists on an extremely efficient 9-12 shooting. Kascius Small-Martin added 15 and five, Daniel Caldwell added 12, while Isaiah Bujdoso finished with nine points, five boards, and six assists.
The Badgers have gotten scoring contributions up and down the roster all season long, with different guys doing the bulk of the scoring seemingly every quarter. Against the Lancers on Saturday, Small-Martin had eight points in the first quarter, Lall scored 12 in the second, Kwakwah scored nine in the third; it’s an extremely balanced approach that makes it all the more difficult to defend against.
“If you look at our team two years ago, our scoring was balanced throughout the year, it’s just the way we play basketball,” said head coach Willy Manigat. “If anybody watches professional basketball outside of the NBA, there’s not anybody that really leads a team with a huge amount of points.”
While Lall has certainly done the most damage offensively, averaging 23.8 points per game, good for third-most in the country, Manigat says he’s doing so through the offence.
“Even with what TJ’s doing now, it’s kind of impressive because of the way he’s doing it,” said Manigat. “There’s still balanced scoring throughout the sheet, we’re just scoring a lot of points right now, but again up at Lakehead when we struggled to score points, if you look at our stat sheet it’s the same across the board. It’s just getting some contributions from everybody that gets on the floor, that’s the biggest thing for us.”
Lall has moved into the starting lineup as of late, with Kwakwah now coming off the bench, though the switch hasn’t affected either player’s minutes. Kwakwah says his mindset doesn’t change whether he’s starting or not, as his role is still the same.
“There’s no difference because I’m still playing the same minutes, I just have to come in with energy off the bench. We’re pretty deep this year,” said Kwakwah.
Kwakwah is one of the elder statesmen on this team — along with Small-Martin, Daniel Cayer, and Daniel Caldwell — and as such has taken on more of a leadership role this season. While it’s not a role he’s used to, he says he’s been more vocal than in years past.
“I mean for me, I’m a pretty quiet guy so it’s definitely something new for me this year,” said Kwakwah. “Things like talking more, being more vocal, those are definitely new for me.”
While it ultimately didn’t affect the end result, the Badgers allowed a season-worst 35 points in the third quarter, something Manigat and his staff will look to minimize as Brock prepares for a deep postseason run.
“I’m just thinking of all the plays we didn’t execute and there’s a lot of those we have to clean up if we want to be the team we can be,” said Manigat. “Again, it’s about, like I keep saying, overachieving, so there’s just a lot of things that we need to work on. Just us not sticking to our game plan and the guys not digging in like they’re supposed to explains [allowing] 35 points in a quarter which is just unacceptable in our books.”
Brock did clean things up in the fourth, holding Windsor to 15 points to cap off the 28-point win. One of the keys to the Badgers’ success was (relatively) limiting Thomas Kennedy, who is not only Windsor’s best player but one of the top players in the country. The Badgers held him to “only” 11 rebounds, well off his season average of 18.3 heading into the game. The 6’9 forward still finished with 20-11-7 and two blocks, but shot 8-18 overall and just 1-4 from deep.
“We were of course trying to limit him, but good players like him are going to do what they do,” said Kwakwah. “Thomas Kennedy is really good.”
The Lancers did also get 22 points out of Telloy Simon, but as a team turned the ball over 22 times and shot under 50 per cent from the free throw line, including Simon’s 4-10 performance.
“We’re just trying to expose the other team’s weaknesses and play through those weaknesses, and we’re trying to hide ours on the defensive end,” said Manigat. “I think that’s how basketball is played at the next level as well and these guys want to learn how to play the game and my job is to teach them that.”
It’s a quick turnaround for the Badgers, who welcome in the 1-3 Guelph Gryphons tomorrow night at Bob Davis Gym. Their offence consists of three high-powered scorers in Malcolm Glanville, Rasheed Weeks, and Khalid Ismail, each of whom are averaging better than 17 points a night. Despite their early season results, Guelph is a far better team than their record states, with all three of their losses coming by one bucket or less.
To get tickets for tomorrow night’s game, click here. Tickets are free for students provided they are fully vaccinated and have completed Brock’s COVID-19 symptom screening the day of. The women’s team tips off at 6:00 p.m., followed by the men’s team at 8:00 p.m.