Grizzlies drop home-opener against DePauw

The Franklin College men’s basketball team’s age is showing — or more specifically the lack thereof.

“It was an off shooting night

because youth equals impatience,” Grizzlies coach Kerry Prather said. “We’re very impatient

right now.”

The Grizzlies shot 30.9 percent in a 79-60 loss to DePauw on Tuesday night in a nonconference game at the Spurlock Center. Franklin (0-2) was 17 of 55 from the field (4 of 18 on 3-pointers) in its home-opener.

“What we’ve got to learn more than anything else is the value

of long possessions,” Prather

said. “We had a very poor shooting night in the midst of a lot of

quick possessions. That’s a bad combination. We just have to have a little more maturity, which will come with more experience to stretch those possessions out where we test them defensively.”

Junior guard Trae Washington, the only returning starter, led the Grizzlies with 13 points. Sophomore Aaron Mann added 12. Washington is one of only two juniors on a team with no seniors.

DePauw (1-0) shot 43.9 percent from the field. Tommy Fernitz led a balanced attack with 15 points, and Bob Dillon added 14.

“They had long possessions,” Prather said. “They didn’t have a great shooting percentage, but it was certainly better than ours.

“We also hurry a lot of shots just in terms of how we put them up. We’re in the right spot, worked hard to get the ball off and we’re just in a rush to get the ball off. That will come with experience.”

One positive Prather said is his team got to the free-throw line often, making 22 of 27 (81.5 percent).

DePauw sank 15 of 35 shots in the first half to take a 39-26 lead.

Junior guard Bradley Fey, a Roncalli High School graduate, came off the bench to score a team-high eight points in the first half, hitting all three shots, including two 3-pointers. Fey finished with 10 points.

“Fey has a lot of good basketball instincts, and he’s a guy that if you leave him alone he’s going to make some shots,” DePauw coach Bill Fenlon said. “He really gave us a big lift in the first half.”

Fenlon said Franklin traditionally is really good at driving to the basket and good in transition.

“We got back pretty well, kept them out of transition and made them do some things they weren’t as comfortable with,” Fenlon said. “We had a pretty good offensive rhythm the whole game.”

The Tigers were picked to finish second in the North Coast Athletic Conference after finishing 19-7 last season. The Grizzlies were selected to place sixth in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference’s preseason coaches’ poll.

Prather said his theory is to always play a strong nonconference schedule to get ready for the conference.

“We’ve got a lot of improvement to make, but the way you do it is test yourself against more experienced teams,” Prather said. “You’ve got to figure that out, and we will. We’ve got smart kids and hardworking kids. We’ll be fine.”

Author photo
Mark Ambrogi is a sports correspondent for the Daily Journal.