Abrupt End to Season for Pointers Men’s Basketball
Will Rossmiller
wross460@uwsp.edu - Twitter @willrossmiller

basketball-3-color-jack-mclaughlin.jpgCalling the Pointers’ loss in the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament to Calvin College a disappointment for the coaching staff, players and fans is an understatement.

“You work hard to get home games in the tournament, and having this as the end result is very disappointing for us,” said Assistant Coach Kent Dernbach.

Stevens Point fell to the Knights 67-58, bringing their final record to 22-6. The loss was only the second home defeat for the Pointers this season.

“It was a tough way to go out losing at home,” said junior forward Clayton Heuer. “Calvin was a good team that had size and hit some clutch shots.”

The end of the season marks the end of guard Jordan Giordana’s career as a Pointer. He finishes with 650 points and a 42.3 shooting percentage from beyond the arc. Over 68 percent of Giordana’s points came from three-point shots during his career.

His shooting ability on the court was only matched by his leadership and professionalism off the court.

“In my two years here, he has just known how to carry himself on and off the court,” Dernbach said. “He was a great role model for younger players, had a great attitude each and every day and was just a first-class individual.”

Giordana was one of two players remaining from the 2010 National Championship team.

“I am proud of all the team success that we have had,” Giordana said. “From winning a National Championship my freshman year to winning the conference my sophomore and senior seasons, it really has been fun.”

Giordana said that he cherishes his experiences with his teammates.

“You get to see them every day for 7 months so you really become good friends, and it even feels like we are a family,” Giordana said.

The atmosphere is also something Giordana will miss.

“The incredible atmosphere for our home games was really something special. When you play in front of 1,500 fans every home game, it really makes game days very exciting,” Giordana said.

The crowds at Quandt Fieldhouse have been historically good during Giordana’s career, and this season was no different.

“This year we outdrew 90 Division I schools in attendance,” Dernbach said. “We, as a team, want to thank all of the students and fans that came out this year. Next year we hope to draw an even higher attendance.”

With the season finished, it’s time for the coaches and players to look back on the season and assess what the team did well and what they can improve on.

“This year we showed great resilience with all of the injuries we had,” Dernbach said. “We were able to play with some very good poise and win some big games.”

“The team can get better by getting stronger in the weight room,” Heuer said. “Guys can always expand their game in different areas.”

Next season, the Pointers will return every player on the roster except Giordana, giving Stevens Point the advantage of experience.

“Guys will have more experience playing with each other. If we can stay healthy, we should be a tough team to compete against,” Heuer said.

However, just showing up won’t work.

“It will come down to having a great offseason,” Dernbach said. “These guys are hungry to get better as individuals and as a team. Every team in this conference will be better next year. We just need to put in some hard work.”