By: Brett Gilbert ’18, Staff Writer
The Lebanon Valley College men’s basketball team was without a key part of its team during the early portion of its schedule.
Senior captain Travis Conrad was sidelined for the first five games of the year with a fractured foot. The Dutchmen struggled during that time, compiling a record of 2-3. The injury gave Conrad a new perspective and appreciation for the game.
“Sitting out was definitely rough,” Conrad said. “It made me a lot more appreciative of the time I have left playing because luckily the injury was not season-ending.”
Since Conrad’s return, the team has hit its stride on the court. Conrad’s leadership and three-point-shooting prowess have been a huge part of the team’s recent success. The Dutchmen have won eight of their last 11 games, including a win over conference-leader Lycoming College.
Conrad has been able to take the things he saw from the bench and translate those into action on the court.
“The translation to the court has been more so growing through off the court input,” Conrad said. “Keeping communication lines open and listening to the guys on the bench for things they see out there or little adjustments to make.”
Conrad also stressed the importance of the supportiveness of the team towards one another. A few words of encouragement when things are not going well have allowed the Dutchmen to bounce back from a tough break or a couple missed shots.
Aside from his leadership, Conrad’s on-court performance has been outstanding. He went a perfect 8-8 from the floor en route to 27 points in a win over Arcadia on Jan. 11. In addition, he scored a career high 33 points, including eight three-point field goals, in a win over Hood College.
“When he plays well, it really gives the rest of the team a boost,” Will Boccanfuso, a junior forward, said.
Conrad hopes that team will continue its strong play down the stretch of the season.
“We have proven we can beat the top teams in the league,” Conrad said. “I think our maturity being we have one senior and so many juniors will benefit us here late in the season.”
The Dutchmen have two regular season games remaining on their schedule. Conrad‘s goal is to make the conference playoffs and win the league title, while also enjoying every last moment he has with his teammates.