Secret weapon emerges in men’s basketball
While it may be the worst kept secret in Ontario University Athletics’ (OUA) men’s basketball, Kyle Enright is quickly becoming one of the league’s premier shooters — a statement supported by his impressive stats and the Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks’ overall success.
Enright’s role has dramatically increased this season, as he is currently third on the team in scoring, first in the OUA in three-pointers, and leads the OUA in three-point percentage, shooting 53.1 per cent from beyond the arc. All of this has contributed to a career-high average of 11.6 points per game.
But more importantly, Enright’s ability to shoot the ball has played a key role in the Hawks becoming a legitimate threat for a national title and in pursuit of breaking numerous Laurier records for a program that features the best men’s basketball team this school has ever seen.
The biggest factor for Enright’s personal success is something predictable, but also essential for any athlete.
“Overall confidence,” said the six-foot-four English major. “I worked hard in the summer and coach has a lot more confidence in me.”
Enright also attributes some of his success to his teammates and their abilities, showing the chemistry and cohesiveness that this year’s squad features.
“My teammates are finding me when other guys aren’t open and Max [Allin] is able to find me when Kale [Harrison] is demanding so much attention,” said Enright, who has found his niche as an early option off the bench who can score at any time in any situation. Combined with his shooting prowess, Enright’s improved defensive ability and overall toughness has made him a favorite of head coach Peter Campbell, but also a key contributor.
As he continues his breakout season, that last factor is what has Enright most proud of his success. His ability to contribute to such a successful and talented team is also what has him excited.
“It is definitely nice to have the shots falling and some personal success, but being a help to the team is the biggest. I like being a spark off the bench and coach has me in a good role where I can succeed.”
The common belief around this team and anyone involved with it is that this season is all-in and full of lofty expectations.
Every player feels this way, including Enright.
“Anything less than a national championship is a disappointment. There is no reason we can’t win it all. As a whole, this is the best team Laurier has ever had so anything less is a let-down.”
In order to accomplish such a challenging and demanding feat, the Hawks would have to more than likely go through the first-ranked and perennial contender the Carleton Ravens.
“They are number one for a reason,” said Enright. “But it was earlier in the year we played them and we’ve matured since then,” alluding to their game earlier in the season, which the Ravens won at home in Ottawa.
The formula for this team’s success in years past has been to let Harrison score the majority of the points, and the rest of the team contribute when they can.
This season is different, however, as the team’s depth and overall talent is at an all-time high, perfectly demonstrated by Enright.
Enright is able to stretch an opponent’s defence and is another dangerous scoring option that opposing teams must worry about, along with Allin and Matthew Buckley.
The formula for success is clear to Enright.
“Practice hard and be prepared for every game and work harder everyday as the tight schedule is a grind.”
The first-place Hawks’ next home game comes this Saturday against the Western Mustangs at 3 p.m. at the Athletic Complex.