Smith surprises with a stellar season
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Storrs - posted Tue., Feb. 8, 2011
E.O. Smith finished its 2009-10 basketball season with an 18-2 record, ranked number four in Division L. Then Coach Ron Pires lost most of his lineup, including forward Tyler Olander, who went on to play for UConn. Pires’ single returning player for 2010-11 is point guard Min Lin, a senior this year. “I’ve got other seniors,” said Pires, “but only Min played varsity last year. I’ve even got seniors who are coming out for the first time this year.”
It could have been an ugly season for E.O. Smith basketball, but it hasn’t. “They’re playing very well together,” said Pires. “They’re playing as a team.” With only six games left in the regular season, Smith is currently ranked seventh in Division L, and has secured a trip to the playoffs. Their record, after a game on Feb. 7 against RHAM, was 12-3, with one of those losses coming against undefeated Northwest Catholic.
Three of their wins were secured without the benefit of their one returning varsity player. Lin injured his ankle during a game against Bloomfield on Jan. 28, and has been forced to sit out since.
Smith was scheduled to take on Hartford Public on Feb. 10, which is also senior night for the team. Their last meeting against Hartford Public resulted in one of their losses, with a final score of 42-27. Their key to success for the remainder of the season? “We’ve gotta play well together,” said Pires. “We’ve got to play good defense. That’s what got us where we are, is our defense.”
Senior Min Lin is E.O. Smith’s single returning varsity player for 2010-11. Lin injured his ankle during a game against Bloomfield on Jan. 28, and is hoping to return to the team before the end of the season. Lin would like to play basketball at the college level. “I’ll most likely go to prep school next year, to try to get a better offer,” he said.