Freshmen lead the way for LU men’s hoop team

Andy York

Jason Hollinbrook is one of the reasons the Vikings are 7-1 this season.

The Lawrence University Men’s basketball team is off to one of the best starts in the program’s history. The team is 7-1 this season going into tomorrow’s big matchup against archrival Ripon. One major cause of the Vikings’ success has been the exceptional play of several freshmen on the team. The Vikings are going into this weekend’s game against the Redhawks with the best start since the 1996-97 team went 11-0 to start the season. That team ended up going 22-3 and winning the Midwest Conference Title, something this bunch of Vikings wants to do as well.

The Vikings have been led by two exceptional freshmen. Chris Braier is a six-foot-five forward from Wauwatosa. He was second team all state last year, and he is showing it on the court this year. He leads the Vikings with 12.6 points per game, and leads the entire conference with 8.9 rebounds per game. Braier has been a force in the middle for the Vikings, and his freshman counterpart Kyle MacGillis has been a terror out on the wing.

MacGillis, brother of junior Chris MacGillis, who also plays for the Vikings, is leading the MWC in steals with 3.12 per game. He is also averaging just over six points per game for the Vikings.

Another reason for the Vikings’ success is the return of guard Rob Nenahlo. Nenahlo missed most of last season with a back injury. Adding to the strength of the team is the superb play of several members of the sophomore class, most notably Brendan Falls and Jason Hollinbeck.

Tomorrow’s game at Ripon begins at 5 p.m. The Redhawks were the unanimous favorite to win the MWC this season, and should be a formidable opponent for the Vikings.

The LU team has another tough task ahead on Wednesday, when they host St. Norbert, who was picked to finish second. That game will be at 8 p.m in Alexander Gym.