Wednesday, March 2, 2011

SMU duo leaves basketball program with memories on and off the court

By Alex Conover
Sports Editor

Saint Mary’s University men’s basketball top ten scorers of all time welcomed two new members in 2011.

After playing their last games as Cardinals, SMU added Will Wright and Lukas Holland to that elite club. The seniors will graduate sitting at the fourth and ninth spots, respectively.

The duo’s scoring statistics are incredible; Will maintained a 17.7 scoring average throughout his career, and Lukas is No. 1 all time in 3-point shots made (141). From a purely scoring standpoint, they could be each considered one of the best that the program has seen since Donald Jordan graduated in 1996.

Statistics aside, anyone associated with SMU basketball will tell you that their careers were marked more by the relationships that they built rather than how many points they scored.

“What’s very important is that they are glad they came to SMU and that they made good friends,” said SMU coach Todd Landrum. “They will be good alumni, and they will continue to care about SMU.”

Both players — who have remained great friends since living in the same freshman wing at Benilde Hall — agreed that the best thing about playing at SMU was the people around them.

“The people I met had to be the best part,” said Holland. “Every day at practice and every road trip was a new experience. They made my time here what it was.”

Wright echoed similar feelings about his teammates.

“I loved the team in general,” said Wright. “It was great how close we were as a team — especially the six seniors who came in together.”

Holland’s top memory from playing at SMU was last year’s historic win at home over Gustavus Adolphus College — a team that the Cardinals had not beaten in nearly 20 years.

Wright mentioned this year’s holiday tournament as his favorite moment, as he made a buzzer-beater to beat Illinois College in the championship game.

After college, the two seniors plan to go on very different paths.

“I have been talking with my coaches about some opportunities to play basketball overseas,” said Wright. “That’s my plan right now. My long-term plan is to use my major in accounting to find a career.”

Holland, who has emerged as a musical talent this year in campus events like Blue Angel and Battle of the Bands, is going to take his talents to the west coast.

“I’m moving out to Los Angeles,” said Holland. “I’ll live with my brother out there and look for a job. I want to live a fun life while I can.”

When asked about what the future may hold for these two, their coach was optimistic that they can excel at many things besides basketball.

“Basketball was just one of the things that they liked to do,” said coach Landrum. “They are both very well-rounded. They see the big picture.”

No comments: