2006-07 Lord Jeffs
Head Coach Dave Hixon prepares the Lord Jeffs for Sunday night's game against Trinity (TX)

Jeffs Go to Work in Texas

December 30, 2006

SAN ANTONIO, TX – The number-two ranked Amherst College men’s basketball team returned from its holiday vacation earlier this week and picked up right where it left off after defeating Worcester State College on Dec. 12 to move to 8-0 on the season. After a brief return to Amherst Tuesday evening, the Lord Jeffs boarded a Wednesday mid-afternoon flight for San Antonio, where they would resume two-a-day practices in preparation for their much-anticipated game at Trinity (TX) University.

The game slated for New Year’s Eve sets two schools which are widely considered some of the best athletic programs in Division III. Currently, Amherst and Trinity sit fourth and eleventh in the Director’s Cup standings, a ranking system which is the most comprehensive measure of a school’s overall athletic program.

This week gives smaller schools a unique opportunity to travel and play a quality out-of-region opponent, something they rarely have time for during the season. With top-ranked Wooster (Ohio) and Virginia Wesleyan losing in the past few days, Amherst could be primed to move into D3Hoops.com’s top spot with a win tomorrow night.

The Lord Jeff players and coaching staff have taken this trip as a great chance to get some important work done, as the coaching staff has gone on recruiting and scouting trips in the evenings.

“After a disappointing loss on this trip last season against Occidental, we really want to set the tone for the spring semester, and get ready for the conference schedule,” explains senior quad-captain Dan O’Shea. “Trinity is a nationally-respected basketball program, and playing a non-regional game is a good way to prepare for the NCAA Tournament.”

Senior Mike Salerno explains, “this trip has allowed us not only to find out what kind of team we are on a national level, but has also served as a bonding experience for the team. When the season starts, we are in class and studying for finals, but this week gives us a chance to really spend time off the court together, getting to know some of the younger guys.” The quad-captain adds, “we are really developing some great team chemistry.”

The Jeffs practiced at Carl H. Sams Gymnasium on Trinity’s campus Saturday morning and are taking the afternoon off, while members of the coaching staff will travel to watch Trinity face Swarthmore College at Southwestern’s Holiday Classic. Sunday morning the Jeffs will travel across town to shoot around and stretch before taking some time for lunch. Game time is set for 4 p.m. central time, as Amherst looks to extend its winning streak to nine games.