NU: Heartland Conference’s hottest team comes up just short

Mar 04, 2015

Even though it did not end the way Jet supporters had hoped, it was a season to remember.

The Newman University Men’s Basketball Team battled to the very end, but came up a few points short in overtime in its final game of the regular season at St. Edward’s. The loss kept the Jets from earning a spot in the highly contested Heartland Conference post-season tournament field.

The league tournament features only the top four eligible regular season finishers. Newman finishes the season at 15-11 and 11-9 in conference play, one game out of qualifying for post-season.

“We were playing our best basketball at the end of the season,” Head Coach Mark Potter said. “It really came down to one possession in the final game.”

Potter added that one of his fellow Heartland coaches told him the Jets were the hottest team in the league during the final weeks of the season and it was unfortunate the league didn’t allow more teams to compete in its postseason tournament.

“The Heartland Conference was very competitive, with a lot of parity this year,” Potter added. “Hopefully we’ll take a look at the postseason tourney field and expand it in the future.”

In addition to a strong finish, winning seven of the last 10 games, the 2014-15 season featured Potter’s 300th career college victory Jan. 31 against eventual league champion St. Mary’s.

Potter is optimistic for next season. He believes the future looks bright. The Jets roster will feature three returning starters, several players who saw significant playing time, and an athletic Kevin Bryant, who missed the season due to NCAA eligibility requirements over play in his home country of Germany.

“We’re not done,” Potter said. “We need to recruit several more players for next season so we’re hitting the recruiting trail right away, while the current players get a well-deserved break.”

Watch Mark Potter’s interview with Up To The Minute