Men's Basketball Season Review

Men's Basketball Season Review

When you lose 70% of your offense from the previous season, it would be natural to assume the following season may be a challenge in terms of wins and losses. The 2016-2017 season for the men's basketball team looked like it might be just that when practice started. While seven men returned for the Eagles from the 2015-2016 squad, just 30% of their offense from the previous year returned.

When the Eagles began practicing in October, they spent the first several weeks practicing with just six players. Once the soccer season was completed, eight men from the soccer team were added to the team, but as a group, they only had one week to prepare before their first game. Despite the short transition time, the Eagles came out on fire during the first semester, going 6-2 and finding themselves ranked in the NCCAA Top 10 for two weeks. Senior Jon Luke Talton was selected as National Player of the week during that time as well.

Coming out of the semester break the Eagles were given some new opportunities, as three men were unable to continue but two were added. The team worked to gather new momentum, but illness and injury proved a major factor as the Eagles went back and forth in the win / loss column. The team persevered, earning a #3 seed at the conference tournament, which they hosted. After an opening round win over Calvary Bible, the Eagles fell to #2 Barclay College in the semifinal round. The men responded well, earning a victory the next day over Emmaus Bible to earn them a third place finish in the tournament. Jon Luke Talton was selected to the All-Conference First Team, while Ryan Kupferschmid was a Second Team selection.

The following week the Eagles traveled to Watertown, WI, for the NCCAA II North Region basketball tournament. The Eagles were the #2 seed and faced off against #3 Moody Bible Institute. The team battled hard, even holding a lead at the half. Offensive struggles in the second half proved too much, though, as the Eagles were upset by Moody, who would go on to win the regional championship the next day. Jon Luke Talton was a first team All-Region selection, Ryan Kupferschmid was a second team All-Region selection, and Jason Scheps was an honorable mention All-Region selection.

The Eagles completed their season by traveling to the ACCA National Tournament. Faith entered the tournament as the #6 seed, and opened play by defeating #11 Champion Baptist. The Eagles then faced #3 seed Trinity Bible College. The game went back and forth, but Faith ultimately came up short, falling by five. In the consolation bracket the next day, the Eagles faced off against the #2 seed Patriots of Arlington Baptist who had been upset by Welch College the previous day. On the first possession of the game, Jon Luke Talton was injured, making things even more difficult for the already fatigued Eagles. Faith battled hard but a 20-point halftime deficit was too much to overcome as they fell in the game. At the final game of the tournament, which was also the Eagles final game of the season and final game of their career for Jon Luke Talton and Jason Scheps, the Eagles were victorious over Kansas Christian College, giving the team a victory in their final game together.

Talton was an ACCA First Team All American selection, while Willie Felderman, David Levy, and Ryan Kupferschmid were all ACCA Scholar Athletes. Talton was also one of three finalists for the NCCAA Pete Maravich Award, the highest honor given an NCCAA II Men's Basketball player. At the national tournament, hosted by Faith, Talton was selected to the NCCAA II Men's Basketball All American 3rd Team, and Felderman, Levy, and Kupferschmid were recognized as NCCAA II Scholar Athletes. The Eagles ended their season with an overall record of 14-12.