UWF men's basketball claims highest ranking, best start, ever
In any other December, UWF's men's basketball team would be playing to banner headlines. But, they've chosen the exact time the Argos' football team is making a run at a possible national championship to run to the best start in the recorded history of UWF basketball.
Jeff Burkhamer's team is 9-0. Going back to 1998, which is as far as UWF's records go, the previous best start was 5-0.
They're ranked 13th in the nation, the first time they've ever been that highly-rated.
However, this team's sprint out of the blocks comes as no surprise. Most of the key players return from last year's school-record 20-win team.
Darryl Tucker, always a good player, has turned into a real force, and they're all contributing.
"We've gotten good play from our bench," said head Coach Jeff Burkhamer. "Tucker's been terrific throughout the whole year. Moter Deng has played really, really well the last two or three weeks. He was the conference player of the week last week. We've got great contributions from Thorpe and Rashaan Benson. So, we've just got a lot of different guys help us win."
Tucker added, "I just think it's brotherhood, chemistry. Everybody holds each other accountable. If you don't do your job, we get into you. So, I think that's why we're this good, because everybody's held accountable."
No one has been more accountable than Tucker. The senior forward leads the Argos with 17 points, and he leads the Gulf South Conference with 10.6 rebounds a game.
The point of the Argos' success is that they're NOT a one-man show. Anything but.
However, Tucker's a good place to start.
Burkhamer said, "Darryl had a terrific summer. He stayed here. He worked all summer on his own. He was in the gym. He was in the weight room, and it's paying off. He's really played well. He's very patient on catches. He doesn't make a lot of mistakes, and he finishes plays."
"You know, I put in the work, and all the seniors," Tucker explained. "[Coach Burkhamer] just drives us to do better and I think we're doing that now."
The Argos' put their perfect record on the line Saturday afternoon when they host GSC foe West Alabama. West Alabama features the nation's leading scorer, Charles Eaton, who averages 27.6 points a game. UWF hosts UWA Saturday at 4:00 p.m. following the women's game which starts at 2:00 p.m.