NANOOK CORNER: An inside look at UAF Basketball's Post Masters, Michael Kluting and Joe Lendway
For this week's Nanook Corner, we talk with two of the UAF Men's Basketball team's Biggest contributors, Michael Kluting and Joe Lendway.
Devin Fry; Reporting>>: The Alaska Nanook basketball team has become known for their shooting ability this year. And while the game of Basketball may be moving behind the three point line, The Nanooks still rely heavily on their two big men in the post. Michael Kluting, a 6'6" 230 pound Sophomore from Palmer, and Joe Lendway, a 6'6" 270 pound Junior from Kansas City, Kansas have put on consistently great performances all season long, including games where one of them led the team in points. Lendway and Kluting give all the credit to their extra work in practice and their teammates around them.
Michael Kluting; Forward - UAF Men's Basketball>>: "Our assistant coach Bobby Howard, he always takes us aside and we do, like post moves and rebounding. We just go at eachother all day. So that kind of carries over to the games."
Joe Lendway; Forward - UAF Men's Basketball>>: "I think it kind of helps with our different teammates having good and bad games. So they kind of focus on them and we kind of get going on our end, so I think that helps a lot."
Devin Fry; Reporting>>: Both of these players have already earned triple-digit rebounds this year. Kluting leads the team by a mile. He has pulled down 173 this season with 50 offensive and 123 defensive. Lendway is the second best player at the boards with 100 rebounds. 70 of which are defensive and 30 offensive. Kluting is also the second highest scorer on the team with 258 points this year, while Lendway is fourth with 208. Opponents may forget about Kluting and Lendway down low when they focus in on UAF's Sharpshooting guards. And the two big men make them pay the price.
Michael Kluting; Forward - UAF Men's Basketball>>: "I think it kind of helps with our rebounds and stuff. That's where a lot of our rebounds come from. Long threes missed or so. And then when it comes to changing up, they're expecting us to shoot threes, not expecting us to be in the post. So when we do get in the post then we get to go to work."
Joe Lendway; Forward - UAF Men's Basketball>>: "And the fact that they're worried more about the guards leaves more opportunities for us to score or draw in defenders and kick it out."
Devin Fry; Reporting>>: And now the Nanooks have an opportunity to earn a conference championship berth as the season approaches its end.
Michael Kluting; Forward - UAF Men's Basketball>>: "I think it'll be fun because last year we didn't make it to the playoffs, my freshman year. So I think it'll be a good experience and I definitely want to fight and get in this year."
Joe Lendway; Forward - UAF Men's Basketball>>: "It definitely makes every game more intense because One game you might just be done for the rest of the season."
Devin Fry; Reporting>>: There is still plenty of room to grow on this very young UAF Squad. The amount of new players early this season created a new set of challenges for them to come together as a team. It may have taken some time, but they have done just that.
Michael Kluting; Forward - UAF Men's Basketball>>: "We have, like, nine new guys this year so we're basically a whole new team. Once again, we're young again, so I'm still the youngest player. It's pretty fun. We get to meet new guys and play with new guys. I think we came together pretty well."
Joe Lendway; Forward - UAF Men's Basketball>>: "I think it took us about maybe halfway through the season. Then we all just kind of clicked. I mean it may not be the best way to do it but at least it happened soon."