As the Winter Semester gets under way, we sat down with Coach Drabiuk to get an inside look at how he anticipates this semester to go.
Last year, the team came home from the 2019 ACAC Men's Basketball Championships with a Bronze Medal. As hosts for the 2020 Championship later this semester, how do you see the team progressing?
"The team is picking up from where it left off last season. Finishing with a Bronze Medal at the ACAC Championship in 2019 left the team hungry for more. The infusion of new players, both transfer and recruited high school players, has made the team very competitive in practice and extremely deep on game nights. For the first time in a decade, we swept a weekend series against Concordia which historically has always been a tough battle.
Our focus this next semester is to continue to become better each day and perform better each weekend. We are gearing up for ACAC Championships and our goal is to peak at the tournament and give our best team performance at the tournament. As our players get more familiar in their roles, they are really beginning to excel at being their best selves."
That drive has been very evident this season – we've seen some significant stat rankings so far, right?
"Yes! Nathan Bowie is 8th in the ACAC (5th in the North Division) for total points at 212, while Michael Stasuik is just behind him in 9th at 198 points. Nicholas Harder is currently 6th in the league, 3rd in the North Division, for Total rebounds at 99, and leads the ACAC in Field Goal Percentage with 63.1%. Nathan Bowie is top of the league with 89 Assists, and Austin Brulotte is rounding out the top 10 with 46, placing him 5th in the North Division."
That's fantastic! With stats like that, athletes have to be hitting some major milestones!
"Exactly – Both Spencer Marion and Michael Stasuik went over 1000 career points this past semester, joining David Ness ('11), David Shantz ('14), Shayn Bruney ('13), Mike McCorquindale ('10), and Tom West ('02) in the top 30 All-Time ACAC Scorers. This puts them in the top 6 All-Time at Augustana.
Michael Stasuik has clocked over 600 career rebounds, moving into 2nd All-Time at Augustana and putting him into the ACAC Top 10 with Shayn Bruney ('13), David Shantz ('14) and passing Josephy Knight ('11), Mike Wedman ('02) and Mike McCorquindale ('10).
For some of these athletes, this will be their last season with the Vikings. Who are those graduating athletes that have contributed to such a successful program?
"Michael Stasuik, Austin Brulotte, Spencer Marion, and Josh Lawal are all key members of the team this year that are all contributing significantly in a variety of roles in this, their graduating season."
What can we anticipate from the team this semester?
"We want to keep playing well, sharing the ball and having great team success. We are so appreciative of our home crowd that we always want to win at home – hosting the 2020 ACAC Men's Basketball Championship March 5th - 7th is going to be a great opportunity to do just that."
Keep your eyes open for more incredible accomplishments from the Vikings Men's Basketball Team, and mark your calendars for the 2020 ACAC Men's Basketball Championship March 5th-7th.