How do you evaluate a team that fell short of victory yet surpassed even its own expectations?
This year was the most successful season the Dinos men’s basketball team has seen in years. Star players like John Riad, Whit Hornsberger, Aman Heran and Chris Wright fulfilled roles Head Coach Dan Vanhooren hoped they would at the season’s beginning, dominating the court with honed skills and strong desire for victory.
Veteran forward Chris Harris overcame a past injury to contribute valuable leadership, even from the sidelines, at every game. Also, supporting players Surinder Grewal and Jon Salgado consistently compensated for weakness at rough patches throughout the season.
The team met a short-term goal and obtained a 6-2 record in their last eight games. More importantly, they obtained their season goal as well. This aim, to compete in the post-season, was surpassed–not only did the Dinos compete, they hosted the U of C’s first men’s basketball playoff showdown in ten years and came within a point of leading their division to the conference championship. Who knows how far the Dinos could have made it had they won?
Although it is true the Dinos did not bring home national–or even regional glory, there is something to be said for the little victories. The men’s basketball team receives a B+ for a great season, lacking occasionally in focus and ultimately in title. If key players improve and next season’s goals reach further, next year’s team is sure to obtain an A.