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Tuesday, 05 July 2011 10:33

Ballard's Ballers

1.27.12 | Men's Basketball

Ballard’s Ballers: Baker continues to rise in HAAC standings

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – Defensive pressure is something Baker prides itself on each and every game.  Statistically, it shows.

The Wildcats enter Saturday’s contest with Missouri Valley College ranked sixth nationally with a field goal defense of 39 percent and ninth nationally with 29 defensive rebounds per game. Not to mention a rebound margin of +6.8, good enough for 15th nationally.

“To me the two most important defensive stats are field goal defense and rebound margin,” said head coach Brett Ballard. “Defense is something we can control every night, you can’t always control making and missing shots. Our coaching staff does a great job scouting and getting our guys prepared to guard the other teams actions.”

Other than a few standout performances, Baker’s offense has been heavily reliant on balanced scoring. Four players (Shortell, Honore, Anderson, and Steinlage) are currently averaging eight points per game or better. With an injury to Honore, Joe Wachter, typically a sixth-man has managed to pick up the offensive slack over the past four games averaging 13.5 points.

“Joe’s been shooting the ball well and has been aggressive on offense,” Ballard added. “It’s exciting because Joe’s a guy that wasn’t playing a ton early on in the year. He’s worked hard with a great attitude and has played really well of late.”

With a commanding 68-60 road victory on Thursday night over local rival Avila University, the Baker men have risen to third-place in the Heart of America Athletic Conference and currently garner the ever so important home court advantage looking at the HAAC playoff picture.

“We feel pretty good about where we’re at right now,” Ballard said. “With our schedule and with the way things play out, we ultimately control our own destiny. We want to try to get that home playoff game, it would be a nice building block for this program.”

Baker (14-7 overall, 7-3 HAAC) faces Missouri Valley College (8-12 overall, 4-5 HAAC) at 4 p.m. on Jan. 28 in Baldwin City, Kan.

Listen to the game live here.

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