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Monday, January 23, 2012

Victor Davis at IWU- Same Work Ethic

From the Pantagraph....

BLOOMINGTON — It may seem as if the time will come for Illinois Wesleyan’s talented sophomore class after the current group of four Titan seniors moves on.
No. 21-ranked IWU’s six second-year players simply aren’t willing to wait that long.
Embracing a variety of roles, the Titan sophomores have brought an uplifting wave of toughness and enthusiam to a Wesleyan team that takes a 14-3 overall record and a 5-1 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin mark into Tuesday’s 7:30 p.m. contest against Millikin at Shirk Center.
“It’s a hard-working, motivated, fun-loving group,” IWU coach Ron Rose said. “You could see it from the first week of orientation they truly enjoy each other’s company. They are a goal-oriented group individually and collectively.”
Victor Davis, a Galesburg native and the marquee recruit of the class, has moved into the starting lineup and  is averaging 10.1 points and 5.2 rebounds. Yet classmates Andrew Ziemnik, Eric Dortch and Nick Anderson are carving out spots for themselves in Rose’s rotation.

“We do whatever it takes. The starters do a great job and we’re there to give them a boost of energy,” said Ziemnik, like Davis a muscular 6-foot-5, 225 pounds. “We’re very competitive. We want to win always.”
Ziemnik, the 6-9 Anderson and the 6-3 Dortch combine to average 14.9 points and 9.6 rebounds. The sophomore contingent also includes Brady Zimmer, who will return next season from shoulder surgery, and Michael Mayberger, who has been primarily a junior varsity player.
“I remember last year after the season they were challenging each other who was going to have the best offseason, who was going to work the hardest,” Rose said. “They bring a locker room energy, a practice energy. But they are not a group full of egos. They have helped create a wonderful team dynamic with that.”   (Doesn't this sound like the Victor we saw at GHS)
A defensive specialist with huge leaping ability, Dortch believes the sophomores have been a tightly knit group from the start.
“The six of us are kind of conjoined at the hip. We’re always together. We’re usually all in one room if we’re hanging out,” he said. “Our chemistry off the court helps with on the court. We push each other to do well academically as well. We’re collectively one unit.”
Rose has been pleased that as close as the sophomores have become, they have not isolated themselves from the rest of the team.
“We have tremendous senior leadership. They (the sophomores) connect well. They are not trying to overstep their leadership area,” said Rose. “They are bringing to the table what the team needs. It’s a group that is all about the team.”
Senior Jordan Zimmer appreciates the support and friendship of the second-year Titans.
“They have a wide variety of skills,” said IWU’s leading scorer. “They are a lot of fun to play with and they’re fun guys to be around. They are giving us exactly what they need to give us right now to be successful. They work really well together, and they are always together.”
Struggling Millikin: Under first-year coach Matt Nadelhoffer, a former Wheaton standout, Millikin is 1-16 overall and 0-6 in the CCIW.
Brock Von Nordeck, a 6-9 junior, is the top scorer at 10.3 with 6-0 junior Rodney Clark at 9.8. University High product Brady Knapp has started 12 games as a freshman and is averaging 2.6 points.

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