Adrian College men's basketball building for future

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Adrian College's Connor Pelham (3) battles with Siena Heights' Luis Young during the first half of the Battle for the Milk Jug game on Tuesday at the SHU Fieldhouse.
Adrian College's Connor Pelham (3) battles with Siena Heights' Luis Young during the first half of the Battle for the Milk Jug game on Tuesday at the SHU Fieldhouse.

ADRIAN — The 2020-21 year was a season of change for the Adrian College men’s basketball team.

Tim Kaiser filled in for its head coach who had led them to a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship and a spot in the NCAA Division III postseason the year prior, Kyle Lindsay, and took over the program in the offseason.

This season, Adrian under Kaiser has one win in its first six games, but there is time, and room, for the program to grow.

“Everything is still on the table for us, it’s not the end of anything," Kaiser said. "It’s just clear as day that we got to get a lot better, and that starts and ends with me, number one, but us as a group, we’ve got to be more together and we have to get tougher. Last couple of games we have been right there but we’ve been out-toughed in different areas of the game and those things lead to losses at the end of the day, and that’s what happening too much to us right now.”

The Bulldogs for Kaiser’s first full season are led by a group of five seniors (guards P’Hariz Watkins, Jalen Paul and Delano Smith, forwards Nolan Ansara and Kendall Bellamy) along with a pair of fifth-year returners in forwards Connor Pelham and Robert Warrick.

Pelham, in his four games played so far, is averaging a double-double per game with 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds-per-game, with season highs in points coming against Earlham (26) on Nov. 17 and rebounds (14) in AC’s lone win so far this season, a 92-80 win against Manchester on Nov. 13.

Watkins had the team-high in points for the Bulldogs in Tuesday night’s 73-69 loss in the Battle for the Milk Jug game against crosstown rival Siena Heights University with 11 points, two steals and two assists.

“The upperclassmen have tried to take the lead, and they have to continue to do that,” Kaiser said. “The biggest thing is that losing stings, losing to your crosstown rival stings and losing in the way we lost stinks, but it’s Nov. 23, there’s a lot of time. We have to focus on getting better every day.”

Those injuries have opened the door for others to get playing time.

Adrian College's De'Ovion Price (2) brings the ball up court in the first half of Tuesday's Battle of the Milk Jug rivalry game against Siena Heights University at the SHU Fieldhouse in Adrian.
Adrian College's De'Ovion Price (2) brings the ball up court in the first half of Tuesday's Battle of the Milk Jug rivalry game against Siena Heights University at the SHU Fieldhouse in Adrian.

One of the freshman, guard De’Ovion Price, is the team leader in points (93) and had 10 points in Tuesday night’s game against the Saints including a steal and a dunk in transition that made the score 45-37 Adrian with 13:57 to play before SHU made its comeback.

Fellow freshman guard Nick Seifert and Kendall Chrisman each scored six points in the first half of the game against SHU as the younger players got some to shine against the Saints, showing some flashes of talent and giving hope to this program.

“We have had guys step up, but we’ve faced some injuries, which is challenging,” Kaiser said. “It’s no excuse, but it has been a challenge for us. We haven’t been able to practice very much together in the last two weeks, but we need more guys to step up. As a team, we want to have not just one leader, you want to have 17-18 of them, guys that know what to do, what to say and how to do it. We need to get better in that regard, as a group.”

This article originally appeared on The Daily Telegram: Adrian College men's basketball building for future

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