Don’t look now, basketball fans, but the best basketball being played anywhere is right in your backyard — but maybe not in plain sight.

The Wabash College cagers are building the foundation of a one-of-a-kind season, and they are laying the bricks in workmanlike fashion.

Relying on a strong defense, high percentage three-point shooting, and an uncanny ability to snag the important rebound, the Little Giants stand 14-1 overall, and atop the North Coast Athletic Conference, undefeated in play, 8-0.

Before dropping a tournament game to Wilmington, Wabash’s 10-1 start was the best in team history.

Along the way, Head Coach Kyle Brumett’s squad has notched upset wins over conference foes College of Wooster, and Wittenberg, who were Nos. 13 and 15 in the d3.hoops.com national rankings at the time.

Wabash is led by sophomore guard Jack Davidson, who has already been named the North Coast Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week two times this season.

The 6-1, 170 pound guard from Hamilton Southeastern is a triple threat player, with equal ability to connect on high percentage three-point shooting, notching buckets at .429 clip. Davidson balances that skill with the ability to get shots off the dribble near the basket, often resulting in a trip to the free throw line. He has canned 107 of 119 FT’s through fourteen games.

Davidson is joined in the backcourt by Connor Rotterman, also from Hamilton Southeastern. Rotterman enjoys the tough guy role, and his physical play has cost the sophomore some playing time around the holidays while nursing an injury. Freshman Tyler Watson, a Tri-West standout, has most ably filled the void, playing beyond his years.

And that highlights the formula Brumett is using to claim wins. The Little Giants boast one of the deepest benches in the entire nation. Six guards are capable of rotating through the lineup, including senior Ben Stakowski, who also is just returning from injury.

The depth at guard allows Brumett to keep the three-point pressure up for entire games. It also generally offsets the opponent’s ability to apply significant full court duress in most contests.

You would think that the emphasis on the backcourt would leave the Little Giants exposed to rebounding woes inside. That’s just not the case.
6’8”, 220 pound, Harrison Hallstrom — the only player on the roster from outside Indiana, hailing from neighboring Naperville, Illinois is deft at creating space inside on the boards, while also contributing offensively. Hallstrom has collected double-digit rebounding in three contests, grabbing a season high 16 against Kenyon on Saturday.

What has impressed me the most all season, is the team’s ability to rely on fundamentals, surprising strength, and some wily play inside to win the rebound battle against nearly all of their opponents. 

Wabash hosts rival DePauw University (9-5, 4-4) here, Wednesday. It’s a good opportunity to watch good work in progress.

- John O. Marlowe spent most of his career as a “pine-time” player, and was football's first DH (dummy holder) for Wabash College in the late 1970's. New to the art of the sports beat writer, Marlowe has spent forty years – and nearly $11,000 – following Indiana high school sports.