Mike Bush has become a household name for every student on campus. Even if you don’t watch Forester basketball very often, you know who he is.
But it wasn’t always like this.
A junior transfer student, Bush first stepped onto campus last summer and got to work with his craft at a new school, sporting forester green for the first time.
In his first game, the home opener against Marygrove, he dropped 16 points and 12 assists. He knew people were going to know his name.
He led the NAIA in total assists and assists per game that year, playing alongside Dan Woll in his senior season. Following an early exit from the Crossroads League tournament against Indiana Wesleyan, he got back to work.
But he wasn’t the only senior. This year’s class is special for for head coach Ty Platt because it is the senior season of his son, Kyle Platt. Kyle has averaged a bucket per game in his senior season, but he said this season was more than scoring to him.
“I try to bring positivity everyday,” he said. “That’s something that you can always control. You can’t always control how much you score, but if you bring positivity and energy everyday, that’s going to help your teammates.”
Devon Merder, senior guard for the Foresters, has fluctuated in the lineup during his time at HU. But one thing that has always been a constant is his defense. Merder is known for his athleticism on both sides of the ball, and he said it all comes from his mindset.
“My job on the team is to guard the best player every night and really do the dirty work,” Merder said. “That’s been my calling these four years that I’ve been here.”
And the stats agree with him. Merder clocked 28 steals on the season and 66 in his career. But his attitude goes beyond the stats.
While Merder hasn’t been the main offensive contributor for the Foresters, he contributed an average of 7.5 point per game this season and shot 42 percent from three-point range.
If you watch the Foresters, you know that almost everyone on the court can shoot the three ball. But senior Trevor Lockwood hasn’t recorded a single three-point attempt on the season.
Yet, that hasn’t stopped him from averaging 10.4 points per game and 5 rebounds as well. With his height, Lockwood has had to face up with some of the league’s premiere post men, and every game has been a battle for him inside.
After starting the season with six wins and 14 losses, the Foresters were “leading from behind,” meaning that they weren’t leading at all. They were struggling both in and out of conference, and something needed to change.
He said his last 10 regular-season games have been his favorite part of the whole season.
“We picked it up, 7-3 in the last 10,” Lockwood said. “It was a pretty amazing run to finish out the season headed into the conference tournament.”
And that it was. Bush, Lockwood, Merder and Platt have most likely finished out their careers in Platt arena, but look into conference season peaking at the right time.
Ask any coach at any level, and they will say that a winless team can make a run into tournament time any season. It’s all about peaking at the right time.
And that is what these seniors are doing.