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Men’s basketball team forces 22 turnovers in exhibition win

The Chris Jans era officially began on Friday with the men’s basketball team’s exhibition game against Notre Dame College.

Despite the 88-64 win and the 22 forced turnovers new head coach Chris Jans wasn’t happy with their on-ball defense calling it, “poor.”

“We were poor it’s going to be addressed and we are going to continue to work on it,” Jans said. “That was as disappointing as anything, was guarding the ball. I’m not sure why but we did not do a good job defending the ball tonight.”

The players and Jans said earlier in the week that this game was more about themselves and learning than it was about their opponent.

When asked what he learned the most David “Pep” Joseph said they have to get back to work.  

“We have more work to do,” Pep said. “We need to get back in the lab and practice. We will watch film tomorrow and look at our mistakes and get better every day.”

When they get back and watch film, what they will see is a team that had four people score in double digits and 14 players on the scoreboard. They were led by Pep who had 14 points, shooting 5-7 from the field. Jehvon Clarke followed him with 12 points and four assists.

“I think our team has a lot of good pieces to us,” Pep said. “Any given night somebody can go for double digits and do what they do, any given night.”

The Falcons started the game slow turning the ball over on four of their first five possessions. That start was surprising to Jans.

“I thought we were remaking the ‘Bad News Bears’ movie,” Jans said. “[The turnovers] were surprising, if we do it two or three games in a row then it becomes more of a trend and a problem. I don’t foresee us having that problem going forward.”

The Falcons would not turn the ball over again until the 2:50 mark of the first half, making that almost a full 15 minutes in between turnovers.

“Coach calmed us down and told us not to get sped up and just play our game,” Pep said.

Jans has always spoken about how important their depth is and at the end of the first half their bench had 30 of their 48 points.

As the game went on Jans seemed to experiment with some different lineups. One lineup he had on the floor consisted of: Jehvon Clarke, Pep, Jovan Austin, Chauncey Orr and Richaun Holmes.

The next lineup seen on the court included: Pep, Clarke, Austin, Orr and Spencer Parker.

“We wanted to prepare for possible future opponents playing small,” he said. “This was our one opportunity under the lights to really prepare for the upcoming games. So we tinkered with lineups to see what we could run and see if guys were comfortable out there.”

Pep couldn’t decide which one worked the best he said.

“We have a lot of good pieces. It’s going to take time, we are going to have to adjust and it will come along.”

The Falcons have gotten their exhibition game out of the way and will open the regular season with a road game against Drake University on Nov. 15.

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