By Jayson Moyer
February 9, 2017
This year has been all about consistency for Lock Haven University Men’s Basketball coach Mike Nestor.
The Bald Eagles sit at 10-10 as they wind down the stretch of conference play in February and are currently hitting a bit of a wall. They have lost four out of their last six games and have been playing the league’s toughest teams.
Lock Haven has 10 players that are brand-new to the program on this year’s roster, eight of which are freshman. Nestor will tell you that he is not worried.
“We’ve shown positive steps forward as a group,” said Nestor. “I think, right now, there is a little bit of mental tiredness from our guys, from the young guys, playing so many minutes.”
Nestor is right. This can happen throughout the course of a season, especially with an incredibly young team. The adjustment to the college game doesn’t come as quickly to everyone. No situation is the same.
One freshman the game has come naturally to, however, is forward Amir Hinton.
Hinton has played 699 minutes heading into Wednesday’s contest on the road at No. 17 Shippensburg. That is 140 more minutes than the second-highest player on the team.
Coming with the extended minutes have been All-PSAC-worthy performances from the freshman sensation, as he leads the team scoring 23.6 points per game.
Hinton is shooting nearly 40 percent from three and is right around 57 percent from the field. Those are incredible numbers.
“Our guys are definitely improving,” Nestor remarked. “You can really just see the confidence they are generating each game.”
Consistency, though, has been a thorn in the side for Lock Haven this year. When asked about improvements the team can make coming down the stretch, Nestor first pointed right to consistency.
“There are certain 20 minute halves we play very well, certain games we play pretty solid. But just consistency throughout a whole game, or a whole week, even, has been probably our biggest problem.”
Lock Haven currently sits at seventh in the PSAC East division with a 6-10 record, but that’s okay. It is a young team. There is always room to grow and establish that continuity within the group.
“A certain guy stepping up defensively, or another guy getting us good looks offensively.”