Basketball prepares for season with Red vs. White Scrimmage

The men’s basketball team finished the 2016-17 season among the top 25 most improved teams in the nation, winning eight more games last year compared to the 2015-16 campaign. photo via Scout Archives
The mens basketball team finished the 2016-17 season among the top 25 most improved teams in the nation, winning eight more games last year compared to the 2015-16 campaign.
photo via Scout Archives

Bradley basketball will soon be in full swing on the Hilltop. However before the mens and womens squads begin squaring off with other opponents, both teams competed in the annual Red vs. White Scrimmage last Saturday at Renaissance Coliseum.

The day began with a competitive matchup during the womens team scrimmage. The white team pulled out a 39-34 victory thanks to a late rally led by senior Danielle Brewer and freshman Nyjah White as both converted clutch and-ones.

It was a strong, complete-team showing from the women. Sophomore Chelsea Brackmann and junior Shunseere Kent both finished with 10 points.

Between the mens and the womens scrimmage, there was a 3-point contest, which paired a mens and womens player. Junior Luuk van Bree, who was second on the mens team last season connecting on 40 shots from beyond the arc, and senior Madison Dellamuth took the crown as they scorched the net. Van Bree knocked down 13-of-15 to lead the duo.

The mens team then took the floor for their inter-squad scrimmage. The team was split into red and white units and faced off with each other for a 20-minute game. The white team, which included many of Bradleys starters from last season such as sophomores Darrell Brown, Koch Bar, Nate Kennell and senior Donte Thomas, jumped out to a big lead and did not look back. They won 34-10.

Head coach Brian Wardle, who served as a moderator between the two squads, said the team needs to take advantage of the preseason and strive to improve daily.

Every day is important, Wardle said. Weve got a lot of work to do; we have to continue to get better and continue to be competitive every day. We need to play with emotion, do not let emotion play with us and play with fire, but control it. If we can do that, good things can happen. I tell our team even on off days, were on.

In the first 12 minutes, the white team opened with an 18-1 lead thanks to a balanced offensive attack. Six different players scored for the squad during the stretch, including seniors JoJo McGlaston and Thomas, who led the team with four points apiece. Van Bree also kept up his hot shooting in the scrimmage going 4-for-7 and chipping in a team-high 10 points.

The scrimmage also gave Bradley fans a first look at freshman Elijah Childs. Though he did not score any points, the 67 forward displayed the ability to make an impact in other areas of the game, grabbing two rebounds along with one block and a steal.

The mens scrimmage was followed by a dunk contest. McGlaston took the title with a between-the-legs slam that earned him a perfect score of 30.

In addition to the scrimmage, the mens team hosted an exhibition match against Lewis University yesterday in support of hurricane relief efforts.

The exhibition was the Braves first competition against another team in months. The Braves have been challenging each other day-in and day-out at practice, and in addition to the scrimmage, Wardle said the players are looking forward to taking on other opponents.

Theyve been competing against each other since the end of last year, and I know theyre anxious to get out and compete against someone else. Wardle said. I am too, just to see execution-wise what we can do with our offense, and also defensively what we need to improve on. You can learn a lot when you play other teams.

The Braves will play their next exhibition game against Robert Morris-Chicago at 7 p.m. on Nov. 1. at Carver Arena.