Focus on the rest – Croup’s Corner

Written By Josh Croup, Sports Columnist

The Point Park men’s basketball team proved last week that they have the potential to make a serious run in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) this year.
For the first time since February 2011, they knocked off a ranked opponent. According to the voters, Cincinnati Christian University (CCU) was the 17th best team in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division II basketball. The Pioneers provided their feedback on the voters’ opinion in their emphatic 78-76 victory.
Now the upset of CCU was just the beginning for head coach Bob Rager. After the 359th win of Rager’s career at Point Park, he said the focus has to be on the remaining eight games of the season. Beating CCU is not the end goal.
“They’re just another team in the way,” Rager said. “Our goal at the beginning of the year was not to beat Cincinnati Christian. Our goal at the beginning of the year was to get to the national tournament to see if we could win the national tournament.”
To do that, they first have to make it through the KIAC. Point Park already defeated CCU, the defending KIAC champs, on Dec. 6 in a 75-71 non-conference victory, the last game before winter break. CCU went on to win its next nine games before losing last Tuesday.
The Pioneers know they can beat the best, now they have to focus on the rest.
“We have eight games,” Rager said. “That’s what’s important—keeping the focus. This is what it’s all about. This is why you start at the beginning of the year. You have eight games, eight opportunities to see how far you can go and how good you can be.”
Well, that was before Point Park lost at Brescia 79-60 to fall to 11-8 on the season, 3-3 in the KIAC. It was a season low in points and field-goal percentage (.328) for the Pioneers. There are now seven games and seven opportunities for the Pioneers to see how far they can go.
Point Park is now 3-6 in road games this season and 6-16 dating back to last season.
They’re a different team on the road, it’s as simple as that. They have the potential to win big games, and we saw that against CCU last week. They have to win games on the road if they are going to make a run at the national tournament.
They beat a ranked team for the first time since 2011 last week. Now the focus has to be on the rest of the KIAC, and playing consistent basketball on both the road and at home.