Mike LeGage ‘23
As is the case with a handful of other sports at Merrimack College, the Men’s Basketball team sports a young roster. 11 of the 16 roster spots are held by underclassmen with 6 of those being freshmen. Freshman forward, Jordan Minor, has emerged early on as a key contributor coming off the bench. Through the season’s first 9 games, Minor is averaging 7.6 ppg, 4.9 rebounds, and 0.9 assists while playing just under 20 minutes per game. His outstanding play has not only caught the attention of coaches and the warrior faithful, but he has also received national recognition. After helping the Warriors win 2 out of 3 games at the River Hawk Invitational, Minor was deemed NEC Rookie of the Week, marking this a great start for the young Kingston, Mass. standout.
The Warriors opened up its inaugural Division I season with an 84-64 road loss coming at the hands of the University of Maine Black Bears. However, they would not be denied their first Division I win for long as they won their very next game against Big Ten opponent, Northwestern. The Warriors prevailed 71-61 and earned the first Division I win in program history. Following these games, the Warriors traveled to Lowell for the River Hawk Invitational where they would go on to play 3 games in 3 days. The first of these games was a 55-46 loss to Dartmouth, but the Warriors were able to bounce back and grab the next two games including a 60-58 win off a Juvaris Hayes buzzer-beater against in-state rival UMass Lowell and 54-44 win against Jacksonville University.
From Lowell the Warriors traveled to Providence, Rhode Island, to take on the Friars, but they fell 93-56. This marked the end of the Warriors 6-game road trip to start the season as their next game was the home opener against Lesley University. The Warriors put on a show in front of the home crowd and completely dismantled Lesley 110-16. Junior Devin Jensen and Senior Jaleel Lord both scored 17 leading the way to the first home win of the season.
The homestand did not last long for the Warriors as they then hit the road to face off against Hartford. The team was able to come away with a 62-58 victory and improve to 5-3 on the season. From Hartford the Warriors traveled all the way to Akron, Ohio, to face the Zips. They fell 64-47.
Through a combination of strong upperclassmen leadership and young talent, the Warriors have gotten off to a rather successful 5-4 start. The Warriors return home to Hammel Court, December 11 against Army.