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TMC makes a push

Mustangs men’s hoops may have received the spark it needs

Posted: December 10, 2008 10:51 p.m.
Updated: December 11, 2008 4:55 a.m.
 
The Master’s College men’s basketball team’s head coach Chuck Martin brought his All-American guard Ryan Zamroz into his office Monday to discuss failure.

Zamroz had a good look at a final shot Saturday against San Diego Christian, but passed up on it.

He dribbled into the post and was unable to get a shot off.

The Mustangs lost to the lesser-regarded team 66-65.

Making matters worse, it was TMC’s Golden State Athletic Conference opener.

Three nights later, Zamroz was in a similar position; TMC down by two in the waning moments against the No. 22 team in NCAA Division II, Cal State Dominguez Hills.

The senior drilled the game-winner with 1.6 seconds left to lead The Mustangs to the 75-74 victory.

“Huge win,” Martin said of the victory.

The Master’s is off to a solid start at 7-3 and is again picking up some notable victories.

Last year, The Mustangs defeated six top 25 NAIA squads, three of which were in the top 10.

But what does Tuesday’s victory say about The Mustangs?

It’s yet to be determined if you make a judgment based off last season’s finish.

Despite the big wins last year, there were also big losses.

The Mustangs were one-and-done in the Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament.

But there are things that say that this TMC team is much better.

TMC started the season by defeating NCAA Division I Pepperdine 82-79 in a scrimmage on Nov. 7.

Though the Waves are 1-8 this season, they still play on a higher level than the Mustangs.

Seven of Dominguez Hills’ victories coming into Tuesday night’s game were by 14 points or more.

Martin said the NCAA Division II teams are on par with the NAIA teams because they all recruit from the same pool.

Thus far, The Master’s is getting it done with shooting.

The team is shooting 52 percent and has three players scoring in double figures – Zamroz at 18 points per game, Dean Hadley at 16.5 points per game and Jeremy Haggerty at 10.1 points per game.

But the difference as to whether this team becomes one of the more successful Mustang squads is whether or not it can play defense.

Martin said he keeps preaching the defensive aspect of the game, but the team hasn’t completely bought in.

TMC is surrendering 71.9 points per game.

The dramatic change, Martin said, may have come Tuesday.

“Will it parlay into something? I hope so,” Martin said.

The Master’s College hasn’t made the NAIA Tournament since 2000.

It didn’t receive a vote in the latest NAIA top 25 poll.

The final measure for whether they make it or not, Martin said, would be a 20-win season and a spot in the top 25.

The next measure comes on Friday when TMC hosts No. 11 Azusa Pacific (5-2).

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