The Lawrence University Men’s basketball team is off to a flying start this season. With wins over nationally ranked teams such as UW-Oshkosh and Carthage, the Vikings have made coaches around the nation take notice. In the newest D3 Hoops.com poll the Vikings are ranked seventeenth in the country, the highest ranking in school history.The Vikings have been dominating their opponents so far this season. Their latest victory, 77-53 over twenty-fourth ranked Carthage, was their most impressive of the year. Senior Rob Nenahlo and sophomore Chris Braier each scored 16 points for the Vikings. The sophomore sensation also added an astounding 20 rebounds for the Vikings.
The Vikings have benefited from the return of many of last year’s players, including all five starters. Along with the starting five, the Vikings have amazing depth. Senior Chris MacGillis is the third Viking to average over ten points per game, joining Braier and Nenahlo. Braier is also averaging a double-double with thirteen and a half rebounds to go with his 11.6 points per game.
The Vikings begin a tough stretch this weekend at home against their archrival Ripon. The Red Hawks come into the game on Saturday with a 0-1 record in MWC play with an 80-76 loss to Carroll. The Red Hawks are 6-2 overall and always play tough against the Vikings. LU will follow up with a trip to their other rival, St. Norbert on Tuesday night. The Vikings remember their trip to DePere last winter when the Green Knights defeated the Vikings and gave Grinnell the Conference championship. The Vikings will visit reigning MWC tournament champion Illinois College before returning to Alexander Gym for a set of home games against Monmouth and defending conference champion Grinnell, the Pioneers defeated the Vikings 150-149 in triple overtime last season.
The Vikings are looking to continue their great start and it all starts against Ripon this weekend. Tip-off is 4:00 p.m. at Alexander Gym. The game will also be heard on 91.1 WLFM with Andy York and Chris Hachfeld handling broadcasting duties.