Mid-Season Reflections with Central Penn College’s Coach David Archer
The Central Penn College men’s basketball team, under the guidance of Coach Coach David Archer, is on a roll. They now have won eight straight and their record stands at an impressive 10–3, with 11 regular season games left to play.
All five starters for Central Penn are currently averaging more than 10 points per game (ppg), with junior guard Marqel Wansley leading the team at 16.8 ppg, followed by senior forward Noah Baylor at 16.
The team’s offense is marked by pinpoint outside shooting from guards Wansley, Tyler White and Ryan Lawrence, with forwards Deon Tabb and Baylor providing the inside muscle. The Knights’ swarming defense can quickly convert turnovers into easy baskets, as many competitors have found out this season.
The team is in the midst of a nine-game road trip. The Knights started strong, winning the first two contests against Misericordia, 98–56, and Penn State Brandywine, 98–85, during the past week. Tonight in Lancaster, they face the Bulldogs of Thaddeus Stevens, a team Central Penn defeated 79–67 earlier in the season. Tip-off is 7 p.m.
We recently caught up with the Knights’ fourth-year head coach David Archer to assess his team’s performance so far and what lies ahead for his high-performing squad…
How did you prepare your team for its current nine-game road trip?
David Archer: Honestly, this is the most home games [five so far] this senior class has had in the last two years. These upperclassmen have learned to appreciate the road games. The van rides to and from games have given us a chance to become closer as a team, and made this team form a brotherhood bond. While we wish we could feel the energy of a home game, we know that we have no control of when and where games are.
Tonight, you face Thaddeus Stevens, who gave you a tough game earlier in the season. How will you prepare this time around?
DA: Coach Stone is someone I’m familiar with as a player and coach. I know he will have his players prepared for the game. We have to continue to work on the little things that have made us successful over the last few games. Mainly staying together and trusting coaching helps us take steps toward the goal, which is winning games.
With the new winter term, you’ve gained some additions on the roster. How does that help the team overall?
DA: We are excited about the additions for the second semester. It adds to the depth, and allows us the opportunity to give our seniors a break at times to stay healthy. Getting back senior and former USCAA All-American Joel Zola is huge. Not too many teams are able to have a player like him come off the bench. Zion Patterson and Quintuan Blizzard have been great additions, also. This will be valuable as they get to learn from some of the best Knights, which will keep the tradition moving well after this season.
With the season halfway over, what are your thoughts on the team’s progress (and success) so far?
DA: Our success is defined by one word “together.” Our schedule has been tough, and we have found ways to stay together when some teams would have stumbled. We knew we were talented, but watching this team practice and develop has been amazing to see. We are taking steps toward the number-one goal, which is making the national tournament.