GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) The Mavericks are winners of four straight and are off to their best start since the 2014-15 season and a fresh start with a new mentality may be the spark CMU needed.
"Building confidence is key but I think coach hammering home every day the fact of just trying to get better every day and I think we've really embraced that," Connor Nichols said. "This week, we have also gotten a lot better we're ready for the challenge this weekend."
Nichols continues to get better every day. He scored 45 points over the weekend, 26 coming in a double-double performance in Saturday's win over Fisher. When the senior is hitting his shot, watch out.
"If we get bogged down offensively late in the shot clock, we can just get him the ball with any kind of space and he can go get us a basket," said CMU head coach Mike DeGeorge. "He's also been really unselfish. He's such a threat. When he moves the ball, it really does free other guys up. He's got great intensity defensively and has really contributed on that end as well."
The senior out of Scottsdale, Arizona is averaging 23 points and eight rebounds per game. He's shooting 65% from the field and the Mavericks as a team are finding the bottom of the barrel at a high rate.
"Our offense is fantastic right now," said Nichols. "I think there is a lot of room for improvement. We can score with any of them. Now it's about locking in on defense and trying to figure that out."
"Our concept is that we are just trying to figure out how to get the ball in the paint and once we get it there, making great decisions," DeGeorge said. "We have good role definition. Guys are very unselfish,the ball is moving to the open man and we are taking great shots."
Nichols won the conferences player of the week in the first week of the season. If he keeps up this rate, he's bound to get it again. While the accolade is nice, he hopes it turns into success for the team.
"I think that when you get it once, you obviously have that hunger to keep getting it," Nichols said. "I think the teammates trust me to score the ball. I think that I'm just trying to get better individually and as a team everyday. If that equals more players of the week, that's awesome. Hopefully it equals more wins."