February 26th, 2024

Pronghorns making immense strides in second semester


By Lethbridge Herald on February 1, 2024.

Herald FILE photo Kenny Otieno speaks after being introduced as the new head coach for the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns men’s basketball program in this March 2023 file photo. Otieno has seen many positive changes in the second semester of this season.

Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns men’s basketball team has turned around their fortunes for the better in the second semester.

After a first semester where the Horns lost their first 10 games and were in many of those games until the end, the team had finally got a win to start the second semester and have gone 4-4 in the second half so far.

In an interview before Christmas, head coach Kenny Otieno was confident that he had seen his team close to turning the narrative on the season.

Now it’s looking like the narrative has changed.

“I think over the Christmas break, we really tried to watch a lot of film and watch in terms of stats from our mistakes that we’re making that were in our control, (and) really try to lock into getting those better and also just cleaning up our defence,” said Otieno.

“So that we’re not giving up too many points to some of these teams that shouldn’t be getting or don’t average that many points. But for some reason, defensively, we were not that great, but I think we locked into that over the break and that changed the narrative to the second half of the season.”

Once the Horns got their first win back on Jan. 5, the team’s confidence started to grow going into future games.

“So even the next game we only lost by two points, it was a one possession game again, we had a chance to win it,” said Otieno.

“I think guys are starting to feel like we could compete with any team as long as we lock into what we can control.”

Otieno has learned that the team hasn’t reached their potential yet.

“I think we have a lot of guys that have proved that they can play at a high level on both sides of the ball,” he said.

Avery Hutchison has seen his teammates do well with ball sharing and the defensive rotations have gotten better.

“It’s been really a big thing that we’ve locked in on and kind of worked on. So that’s been a  good piece to add,” said Hutcheson.

Hutcheson has noticed that Otieno has instilled the underdog mentality into his players.

“He wants all of us to be a dog on defence, and be tough and have a chip on our shoulder mentality and (I) think that’s really important, especially with coming through ups and downs of the season,” said Hutcheson.

The Horns are currently 4-14 on the season and will wrap up against  the U of A at home on Feb. 9-10.

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