Coach Bob Sundvold discusses basketball team’s hot streak on KFNS Radio
With three weeks left in the regular season, the University of Missouri–St. Louis men’s basketball team is 9-3 in Great Lakes Valley Conference play, riding a six-game winning streak and sitting at an overall record of 18-4, the program’s best start to a season since 1971-72.
Frank Cusumano, a former UMSL basketball player himself and current co-host of “The Press Box” on KFNS (590 AM), summed it all up nicely when Tritons Coach Bob Sundvold appeared on the show Friday morning.
“Let’s welcome to the program the head coach of the hottest basketball team in the state,” Cusumano said.
Sundvold, in his sixth season coaching at UMSL, has already helped guide this year’s team to within four wins of the program’s single-season record: 22, set in 1987-88 and duplicated in 1990-91.
The Tritons’ successes have come in all shapes and sizes this year, from blowouts such as a 43-point drubbing of Lindenwood–Belleville in early December to improbable comebacks such as a Feb. 2 win over conference foe William Jewell in which UMSL overcame a 16-point deficit in the final 4:25 of the game.
“I don’t think (our players) think there’s a ceiling yet for them,” Sundvold said on “The Press Box” on Friday. “That’s a big thing.”
The story of the season for the Tritons has been balance, with nine different players serving as the team’s game-high scorer throughout the year. Seniors Johnathan Matthews (14.5 points per game) and Eric Dust (11.0) and junior Ronnie Carson (10.0) have led the way, but supporting players have stepped up throughout the season as well.
Last time out, against Missouri S&T on Thursday, junior Jalen Wilkins-McCoy logged career-high marks with 21 points and 12 rebounds.
“Guys come to practice and try to get better,” Sundvold said. “They want to show the coaching staff that they want to add to their minutes, or ‘Hey, you want to have trust in me, faith in me. Put me in.’ It’s really been kind of a neat thing to see, that these guys are willing to accept and understand, ‘I might not get the same number of minutes every night. Another guy might get hot or play well’ and then turn around and come to the practice floor and get after it again.”
The next opportunity to see the Tritons in action at home is against Drury at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 21 in the Mark Twain Athletic Center for the “Pack the Stands” game that serves as part of the annual Homecoming festivities.
“The Mark Twain is a heck of a gym,” Sundvold said. “Lori Flanagan, our (athletic director), has spruced everything up. It really looks nice and it’s a great place to play. Hopefully we’ll get some people out because we’ve got a fun group.”
Listen to Sundvold’s appearance on “The Press Box” by clicking here.
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