The DePauw (14-4, 6-2 SCAC) men's basketball team will look to extend its current four game-winning streak against Southwestern tonight.
The Tigers have begun to find their way after dropping two contests last month.
Experienced players are making the difference for the Tigers, with junior guard Mike Moore and senior big men Stephen Schott and Brian Oilar leading the way.
The trio has upped their season averages and now combine for 44 points per contest.
"I felt like the last couple of weeks we've really started to start playing a little bit better and I think a big part of that is we're getting a little better defensively," DPU head coach Bill Fenlon said. "I think some of that is a function of the decision we're making offensively. We're still trying to push the ball down the floor and making some better decisions in transition. We're not shooting it in the first five second of the possession as often. We're making a good distinction between getting something early that's great, rather that trying to get something early that just OK. As a result, we are not defending quite as much and that's helping us."
DePauw is still receiving great minutes from freshman Steve Lemasters who has adapted his game to the college level nicely. Lemasters is not the only underclassman that has raised their level of play.
Since the holiday break, sophomore David Gray has impressed his coach with his elevated level of play and responsibility, and his willingness to do what the team needs him to do.
"I think Steve has been pretty solid all year," Fenlon said. "He's done some really good things; he's shot the ball well. He has also proved to be what I call a positive ball handler; he doesn't get himself into a lot of trouble. He's improving defensively and so he's given us some depth on the perimeter that's helped us a lot. He's getting better all the time.
"David (Gray), just the last month, has really made some adjustment in the way he's gone about his business. He's been so much more positive about what we're trying to do. He's make a pretty dramatic shift in his attitude more than anything else and he's become a lot more coachable and he's taken a lot more responsibility for his mistakes," Fenlon commented.
"I think the result of that is he's more fun to coach number one and he's seeing much better results."
Southwestern poses a unique problem for the Tigers. The Pirates have no single threat the Tigers need to focus on and insert players at a blistering pace.
"They play a ton of guys. You can't really key on anybody, you just have to have an overall concept of what their trying to do. Don't base it on personnel, but on tendencies," Fenlon said.
In the second half of their weekend road trip, the Tigers will face a talented Trinity squad. Trinity has four players averaging double figures. Of trinity's 77 points per game, Russ Martin, Robert Taylor, Patrick Hasiuk and Paul Rowe account for 52 of said points. A fact that the DPU will be able to game plan for better.
"When you have three or four guys, it would be a little nicer if it was one or two, but if you have a few guys and you know what they're going to do then you can gameplan to try to take some of their strengths away. The scout of trinity is a little more personnel oriented than the Southwestern," Fenlon concluded.
The Tigers will face Southwestern at 8 p.m. Saturday and Trinity at 8 p.m. Sunday. Both games will be carried live on 91.5 WGRE.