SEASON REVIEW: Despite two convincing wins this past weekend at Olson Auditorium, the Pacific Lutheran University men's basketball team was unable to secure a spot in the Northwest Conference postseason. The Lutes finished the season with an overall mark of 12-13. The Lutes 9-7 mark in NWC action was good for a fourth-place tie with Lewis & Clark College. Unfortunately, due to tie-breaking rules, Lewis & Clark earned the conference's fourth and final playoff spot, leaving the Lutes at home. Despite the Lutes missing out of the playoffs, PLU put together a nice season with a number of memorable highlights.
CONTI STANDS ALONE: Senior James Conti wrapped up his remarkable career this weekend playing a major role in each of the Lutes victories. In his illustrious career, Conti played over 2,600 minutes in 98 career games. This season, Conti became the all-time career leader in steals and ends his career with 184 total swipes. Adding to that, his 67 steals this season rank him first all-time for a single season. In his final season, James also climbed the all-time career assists leaderboard and with 357 career assists, ranking third all-time in program history. Conti had a career year in 2011-12 as the guard registered career high's in minutes played (823), points (342), assists (118), and steals (67).
PROTECTING THE ROCK: One reason for Pacific Lutheran's success this season can be attributed to the team's ability to limit turnovers. In the 2011-12 season, the Lutes turned the ball over only 10.7 times per game which was best among all NWC programs and 8th nationally. In addition, the Lutes ranked 24th in the country in assists to turnover ratio with a mark of 1.26.
THREE-POINT PROWESS: Pacific Lutheran ended the season as one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country. Shooting 38.6 percent from behing the arc in the 2011-12 season, the Lutes ranked 22nd in the country. Drew Earnest and Cameron Reister led the Lutes from long distance this season making a combined 101 three-point field goals.
LOOKING TO NEXT SEASON: With a returning roster that will feature three seniors, the Pacific Lutheran men's basketball squad will again be in contention to make a run at the NWC playoffs and a NWC title. Cameron Schilling, Drew Earnest, and Cameron Reister return for their senior seasons looking to make a lasting impression on the program. Kai Hoyt, who started all 24 games for the Lutes returns for his junior campaign. In addition, Johnny Tveter, Terrell Williams, Arvid Isaksen, and Austen Wilson, who all saw regular action for the Lutes, will have added roles in 2012-13. With a strong retuning core, the Lutes will be pushing once again for a conference playoff seed.