Athletes of the Week

Dan Bannister, Men’s Basketball
Dan Bannister, Men’s Basketball
Brittany Moore, Women’s Basketball
Brittany Moore, Women’s Basketball

Dan Bannister
Men’s Basketball

Last weekend, the men’s basketball team continued to show signs of improvement in a difficult start to the season. While the team lost to both the Windsor Lancers and the Western Mustangs, fourth-year guard Dan Bannister had tremendous games. He ended the weekend with 34 points, eight rebounds, seven free throws and six steals. Nevertheless, Bannister was modest about his performance.

“I played OK,” he said. “I missed a lot of open shots.”

While Bannister’s field goal percentage of 43.2 per cent is relatively low, he is still one of the top offensive players in the OUA. His 19.5 points per game and three point rate of 39 per cent are fifth and 17th in the league respectively.

Bannister’s efforts have created opportunities for the slumping Gaels, especially having made those achievements in an unusual season like this one. With a change in coaching and the graduation of the Gaels’ scoring leader Mitch Leger, Bannister has filled the role, but said he still sees room for improvement.

“I think that if I could hit a few more shots, we would be able to win close games,” he said.

In a 1-7 season where the Gaels have lost only three games by less than ten points, Bannister shouldn’t be the only one hungry for improvement. But then again, working hard has always been a central part of Bannister’s game.

With a young team, he is one of the few veteran players along with fourth-year Timothy Boyle. Bannister said he tries to provide guidance to the rookie players. One of the values that he said he tries hardest to instil is the importance of working on improving play outside of the games and team practise. It seems that his leadership is working.

“We’re growing as a team,” he said.

At second last in the OUA, the Gaels have a lot of growth left and the second half of the season will not be any easier. Bannister’s leadership will continue to be put to the test as the season progresses.

Benjamin Deans

Brittany Moore
Women’s Basketball

Last weekend, women’s basketball captain Brittany Moore led her team through two tough losses to Windsor and Western. The fourth-year guard accumulated 37 points and seven assists over the weekend.

“I definitely improved this past weekend,” she said. “At the beginning of the season, I had been struggling a bit … I haven’t been hitting shots and my shooting percentage hasn’t been where it normally is.”

Moore’s shot percentage of 29 per cent to start the season has not been ideal for the Gael veteran, although she currently averages 15 points and 2.62 assists per game.

Moore has played impressively given her team’s circumstances. Currently, the team is crippled with injuries, leaving only eight of the thirteen Gaels able to play.

“We’re kind of cursed right now with injuries but we’re hoping that we’ll get some players back,” she said. “The players who have been coming in, who have been healthy, are beginning to step up.”

Moore will finish the first half of this season against RMC this Thursday and then turn her sights to the rest of the year after the break.

“[Over the break], we’ll be focusing on just taking care of the ball on offence,” she said.

If everything can come together for Moore and the Gaels, from injuries to skill development, they can hopefully make a playoff run in late February.

“[Against Western], it was good to see where we can play at,” she said. “It was a really good weekend for us as a team, as far as growth and moving forward and knowing [that] we can play every single game.”

Moore’s leadership, as a veteran player, will be crucial in the months ahead.

“Being able to recognize what my opportunities are on the floor and possibly making better opportunities for someone else to score, that’s one of the most difficult things,” she said. “You play good defence and you get opportunities there on the other end of the floor.”

Benjamin Deans

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