When the Lethbridge College Kodiaks men’s basketball team begins the second half of the ACAC season on Thursday night, the players will look to continue the team’s historic start.
The undefeated record gathered through the first 10 games of the season has sat stagnant since Nov. 29, when the team completed its 2019 portion of the schedule with a weekend sweep of the three-time defending champion SAIT Trojans.
The team is now ranked second in the country.
Chris Thomson has been around the Kodiaks program a long time, and the self-proclaimed “old man” of the team said he couldn’t have predicted the hot start the team has had.
“This is a special team, I think. We’ve got a lot of chemistry and not a lot of egos on the team. People just play hard and we want to win every game.”
The 28-year-old played his first season with the team in 2010 and came back to round out the decade at the request of head coach Ryan Heggieh.
Thomson said he’s been caught off guard by how good the team has been, especially with nine first-year players on the roster.
“I’d like to say that I thought we were going to be good this year, but I’ve always come off the bench and I’m a starter now,” he laughed. “So I thought, ‘Well, if I’m starting, I don’t know how good we’re going to be.'”
Success has come on the backs of the whole team, with four players averaging over 10 points per game, including first-year guard Brock Dewsbery, who is sitting fourth in the ACAC in scoring as he averages more than 22 points per game and drops 50 per cent of his shots from beyond the arc.
“Just the confidence he plays with… like every shot he takes, he expects to go in,” said Thomson.
But Dewsbery isn’t willing to take credit for the team’s success.
“The guys set me up really well,” said the Raymond, Alta., native. “They always are looking for one more pass, and that’s the good thing about chemistry… we’re always looking for each other.”
Dewsbery’s attitude and dedication have made him an instant go-to guy on the team.
“He works so hard, he’s a good leader… he’s a first-year guy but it feels like he’s one of our captains,” said Thomson.
The team has been out of ACAC league action since that last meeting with the Trojans on Nov. 29, but a trip to Arizona in December and plenty of exhibition action has kept them on their toes.
With sights now set on the 11 games they have remaining in the regular season, the team is focused on picking up right where they left off.
“We just gotta get it back… keep going,” said Dewsbery. “Once you start grinding for a little bit, you feel that intensity again.”
“[We’re] not worried about losing momentum,” said head coach Ryan Heggie.
“These guys get back in the gym, they work hard, we get them back in a little bit of shape that maybe they lost, and we just get ready to go back to work.”
The Kodiaks will tip off the 2020 portion of their schedule in Medicine Hat, taking on the Rattlers at 8 p.m.