Athletes of the Week: CMU men’s basketball

The Mavericks are getting hot at just the right time, winners of five straight games
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 4:46 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - The CMU men’s basketball team tipped off 2022 with a bang, sweeping their weekend series on the road. The Mavericks are up to five straight wins.

“All weekend we were just really good defensively, the guys were dialed in,” says head coach Mike DeGeorge. “This is one of the top defensive teams in the country and we certainly showed that this weekend.”

CMU got off to a slow start when the season opened up. The Mavs lost three of their first four games, all to non-RMAC opponents. But they have dominated conference play, going 11-2 since that rough start.

The team says they’re getting more comfortable in roles they previously weren’t used to. Take Mac Riniker, for example, the Mavericks starting center. He had never played center before this year, at any level. But halfway through the season, he’s thriving in the post, now leading the team in points.

“They’ve been very understanding when I make mistakes, knowing that it’s not my natural position,” Riniker says. “The point guards do a great job of finding me in the low post when they get doubled. That’s where half my points come from -- just wide-open layups.”

CMU men’s hoops is a well-rounded team, which they proved emphatically over the weekend. On Friday, the Mavs got double digit scoring from five different players.

Their next game is Saturday at Black Hills State. CMU rides a five-game win streak into South Dakota, clearly getting better with every game. And it’s coming at the perfect time, with just three weeks left in the season.

“The team that’s going to end up on top of the league, is going to be the one that improves the most from this point forward,” DeGeorge tells us. “We just got to keep working to do the best we can, through the adversity we’ve been facing.”

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