GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.–Shock. That’s what you could say the Mavericks are feeling after dropping out of the regional rankings.
“I didn’t believe it at first,” senior forward Jeff Hart said. “I thought maybe they made a mistake.”
Colorado Mesa’s loss at Western State on Saturday dropped them out of the top 10.
“I was shock that we dropped out,” head coach Jim Heaps said. “I’ve never seen that kind of thing happen before and I’ve been doing this a long time. Usually teams might move one or two spots, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody drop five spots after losing a road game.”
However, the Mavs can still control their own destiny with a strong showing in the final games of the regular season against Adams State on Friday and Fort Lewis on Saturday.
“I’m already getting nervous,” Hart said. I’ve been nervous all day, especially after I saw the regional rankings. But it’s one of those things, as an athlete, you kind of enjoy that situation because your back is up against the wall. You get to see what you’re really made of, so I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be senior weekend, we’re going to have a lot of people out there. Should be fun.”
But for the senior from Arizona, who’s been a part of the program since 2008, it might be a little bitter sweet.”
“You try not to think about it too much, otherwise you can get emotional,” he said. “Keeps me up at night, you know, I think about it. The things I’ve done so far, but, really ti kind of all comes down to this. This next weekend will kind of be the true test for me. It’ll determine a lot. Really, your biggest legacy is the legacy you leave behind as a senior.”
Meanwhile brothers Colton and Chandler Burgon will stand side by side on senior night, but they’re trying to focus on this weekend before they start reflecting on their college careers.
“You try not to get there, but definitely had a chance to think about where we came from and where we’ve made it to,” Chandler said. “You look at all the road trips, and memories with the guys, and chance to play with your little brother. So of course those are going through your mind, and it just makes you appreciate them that much more.”
Colton added, “Wow, these are some of the best experiences of my life, and soon it’s going to be new things, but right now I’m trying to focus on what we need to do to keep the season going.”
The three seniors will be honored before Saturday’s game against Ft. Lewis.
“I couldn’t ask for any more out of any of the three of them,” Heaps said. “Their leadership, their play on the court. They’ve just been true Mavs, and we’re going to really miss them next year.”
But until then, it’s all about this year and this team fighting for a regional bid.