Before second-year Peru State mind males's basketball coach Eric Behrens was presented with the reins, the program was a yearly bottom feeder-in the Heart of America Conference.
The Bobcats hadn't registered a winning season since 2002 or skilled for the nationwide competition since 1997 as a NAIA Division II user.
12 months the Behrens period included a 18-13 level, a considerable improvement through the earlier regime. 12 months Two had been better still for the Peru, Nebraska-based school, whilst attained a share associated with the conference name and its very first day at the NAIA Division we tournament since 1966.
Just like third-year Carroll mentor Carson Cunningham, Behrens had only coached within senior school degree before their current gig. Both have actually swiftly switched downtrodden small-college programs into winners.
No. 15 Peru State (22-10) takes on No. 19 Carroll (21-9) on Thursday at 1:15 p.m. at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City - only a two-hour drive from Peru - in the first round associated with nationwide competition.
RYAN COLLINGWOOD: this has been two days since mastering you're paired with Carroll. Now you've done your research and viewed film, just what do you really label of 'em?
ERIC BEHRENS: They May Be great. Every thing towards NAIA is really so local, so there's maybe not a complete of expertise truth be told there, nonetheless they're having a good 12 months and therefore are from a fantastic league. Their record is similar to ours inside our seminar. They have great dimensions across the board, a great point guard many great wings. They have got lots of various tools and operate lots of activity. It is a little bit early in the preparation procedure, but we are wanting to put our best game plan ahead.
RC: perhaps you have faced anybody much like Carroll in meeting play?
EB: They remind me personally a lot of just last year's Evangel University staff that won our seminar, with numerous men that can defeat you. Our conference has different types of teams. Some groups in our conference had been filled with junior university and NCAA Division we transfers plus some, like Carroll, had countless senior high school products.
RC: exactly how has actually your college and community reacted towards system's ascension?
EB: individuals are excited we're in competition. We hadn't already been a proper competitive team within the last few ten to fifteen many years. We'd our (NAIA choice tv show) party one other evening plus the school president ended up being truth be told there. We managed to make it a spot emphasizing exactly how we have not had much success and exactly how unique this is for system
RC: Your group features the nation's complete things leader in 6-foot-5 shield Corday Sims (25.9 ppg, 8.4 rpg) on a group which ranks seventh in the united states in scoring (89.9 ppg). We know he is able to score it, exactly what form of player is he?
EB: He Is very versatile. They can score attacking the basket, but also has a beneficial mid-range online game and will shoot the 3. He had been first-team all-conference alongside (6-foot-7 forward) Kris Frazier (12.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg), just who gets us a lot of double-doubles. Quantice Hunter (11 ppg), another guard, had been honorable mention.
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