Unbeaten IWU Drawing National Attention

Local Sports

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — The Illinois Wesleyan men’s basketball team is off to a tremendous start this season.

The Titans have a 7-0 record, outscoring their opponents by more than 16 points per game.

“I think we’ve all just been working really hard together,” said junior Luke Yoder. “During practice, we’re coming every day and competing with each other and we’re just making each other better.

And people around the country are taking notice. In the first Top 25 Poll of the season, Illinois Wesleyan came in at number two.

Currently ranked third, the Titans try not to pay too much attention to the polls, but rather use it as motivation.

“At the end of the day, it’s just a ranking,” said senior Cory Noe. “Especially for us in December, we have four or five tough games coming up. So we do look at it, but it’s something you take with a grain of salt, you have to win the games.

The Titans put their seven-game win streak on the line Saturday when they travel to Wheaton. They certainly won’t be paying too much attention to the rankings now that the conference season is underway.

I think it gives us motivation to chase after that No. 1 ranking and to be recognized as the very best team in the country,” said senior Matthew Leritz. “And we know going into every game that we are going to get every team’s best shot.

Over the next month, the Titans have road games at three ranked opponents, including a game at top ranked Yeshiva at the end of December. Ron Rose believes the difficult schedule will have them battle tested come postseason.

“I coach really intelligent guys that get it, and I think have perspective. So they handle it, they are a humble group, they’re a hardworking group,” said the head IWU head coach. “The fact that when you are ranked, you’re going to get your opponents best shot will prepare us for a rugged CCIW play as well as hopefully if we have the opportunity to play in the postseason as well.”

“The only goal for us, and it’s been that way every year since I’ve been here, is to hang a banner,” said Leritz. “I think anything less than that, especially with the team we have, would be a disappointment.”

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