The Oberlin Review

In the Locker Room with Jack Poyle and Nate Cohen

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Nate Cohen (left) and Jack Poyle

Nate Cohen (left) and Jack Poyle

Yushu Liu

Yushu Liu

Nate Cohen (left) and Jack Poyle

Tyler Sloan, Sports Editor

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This week, the Review sat down with men’s basketball players Jack Poyle and Nate Cohen, both sophomores, to discuss their breakout seasons, a new defense for the Yeomen and an upcoming trip to Los Angeles.

How has the season been going so far?

Jack Poyle: It’s been pretty good so far. We’ve gotten off to a good start, and I don’t think we have played nearly as well as we could have, but we are still 3–1.

Nate Cohen: We’ve been winning, and we have not been playing well at all. But we are going to pick it up, and it’s going to be great.

You have already won against Muskingham University and Wittenberg University, two teams that you saw tough losses to last year. How have you adjusted your game from last season to this season to win more games?

JP: We have grown a lot as a team from last year. Everyone is a year older and more mature, and I think it’s really helped us.

NC: We put in a new defense — a completely different defense from last year — and it’s been catching a lot of people by surprise.

Both of you have stepped into leadership roles this year and made your presence felt on the court. How does having a year of experience under your belt factor into your play?

JP: I know what to expect from our conference; we have one of the tougher conferences in the nation. I guess just knowing what to expect from each team and the level of play. It makes it easier to compete.

NC: He’s definitely right. Also, last year we took a lot of time just getting acclimated, and now that we know what to expect, we are coming in and just trying to make it happen.

What has been the highlight of your season so far?

JP: Watching Nate hit the game-winner against [Wittenberg].

NC: Watching Jack score 26 [points] against [Wittenberg].

JP: We’re only four games in, but we’ve already had some positive points.

What is it like to have only one first-year this year versus last year’s five?

JP: It’s definitely different. I don’t know, last year there were five of us. I don’t know what it would be like to only have a class of one. I feel like that would be a lot different. Sam [Kreisberg] has been playing well, and he’s stepped up his game. We don’t really see him as a freshman; he just is part of the team.

NC: Since we graduated four people [last year], it’s easier with a smaller team. We had an army last year. So it means in practice we get more reps; it means in practice [Sam] gets more reps. He has actually picked up the offense way quicker than we did last year.

Do you have a conference rival?

JP: I don’t think that you can have a rival when you are normally, historically bad. When we start winning we could have a rival.

NC: I would say DePauw [University] for sure.

JP: We beat them last year when they were ranked and kept them out of the tournament. I guess I would want to beat everyone in our conference, not one team especially.

What are your expectations for the rest of the season?

JP: I think we should definitely finish in the top half — at least the top four — of our conference. We should definitely be looking to make a run in the tournament.

NC: I think we could make a deep run in the conference tournament, if not win it. I think that should definitely be our goal, to win the conference tournament.

Do you like staying here for Winter Term?

JP: It’s really fun, because all you really have to do is play basketball. You don’t have to worry about class, so that’s nice. It’s really cold though. Last year was terrible. I’m from here, and it was really bad. But this year, we get to go to Los Angeles for a tournament, so that will take a little bit of time out of the snow.

NC: It’s really not as bad as you might think.

Kobe or LeBron?

JP: Now that LeBron is on the Cavs again, I’ll go with LeBron. The Cavs are the best team in the league.

NC: LeBron.

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