Illinois Wesleyan Basketball Preview
Written by Blake Borgardt on February 4, 2022
Image courtesy of Kodiak Creative
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – After their overtime loss against Concordia Chicago with a final score of 81-75, the Illinois Wesleyan Men’s Basketball team will look to get right this weekend at home against Carthage on Saturday at 7p.m.
Before losing two straight games against Elmhurst and Concordia Chicago, the Titans had been on a hot-streak, winning seven straight, with the final four games of their win streak on the road. With those two straight losses, the Titans have dropped eight spots in D3Hoops.com’s top 25 rankings to number 10.
The Titans will look to rely on their do-it all forward Matthew Leritz, who is averaging just under a double-double a game with 17.9 points and 9.9 rebounds. Leritz will look to recreate the success he had the last time these two teams faced off, as he posted a season high 28 points.
After having his hands full a week ago against Elmhurst with physically imposing forward Lavon Thomas, Leritz will once again face off with a tough matchup defensively with Carthage’s Fillip Bulatovic. Bulatovic is currently second on the team in scoring, with 17.2 points per contest. The Titans have yet to see Bulatovic in action this season, as he missed the first contest between the two teams.
A player who is having a reliable stretch of games since returning from COVID health and safety protocols is guard Cory Noe, who is averaging just over 11 points and nearly two steals a night in his last four games.
If the Titans hope to get back in the win column this weekend they’ll need some help from the bench. Only 12 of the 75 points posted by the Titans in their previous contest came from the bench. Look for guards Lucas Heflen, and Ryan Sroka to step up in this regard, providing some much needed assistance from beyond the three-point line.
With only five games remaining on the schedule for the Titans, pushing through this final stretch of contests will be critical in their quest to repeat as CCIW champions. In their final five games, the Titans will play Wheaton and North Central, who are one game back behind the Titans for the number one seed in the CCIW.
Following the contest against Carthage, the Titans will get to stay home and face off against North Park on Monday at 7p.m.