This week the No. 10 Hopkins men’s basketball team took on the Haverford College Fords at Goldfarb Gymnasium for their last conference game of the season. The Jays pulled off a 75-56 win, adding yet another tally to the win column of their now 22-3 record.
Junior guard Conner Delaney has been one of the driving forces behind the Jays’ success, and was a key factor in the win against Haverford. Delaney put up 17 points, made four three-pointers and grabbed six rebounds in the winning effort against their Conference foe.
After suffering a season-ending injury just 10 games into the season last year, Delaney has not missed a beat in his comeback campaign. The junior captain leads the team in points per game, assists and steals and is third in the Centennial Conference in all three categories.
The News-Letter had the opportunity to talk with Delaney about the Haverford contest, the season overall and the team’s frame of mind going into this weekend’s Centennial Conference tournament.
The News-Letter: This weekend you had a standout performance against Haverford, scoring 17 points including four three-pointers. How were you able to make that happen?
Conner Delaney: I think our team all together had a great performance on Saturday. I really wanted to play well for our seniors, Harry [O’Neil] and Mac [Rowan], and make sure they were able to have their last regular season game end in a win. We all went out there super confident in our preparation and each other and were able to come out with a win.
N-L: This season you have scored 429 points so far, 38 three-pointers and averaged 3.8 rebounds per game. The latter two are more than either of your prior seasons, and you’ve scored almost as many points as both prior seasons combined. What’s behind the stats? How have you improved since last year and what did you do to improve between seasons?
CD: I think the biggest improvement for me is my health. Since I got hurt last season in December, I have worked really hard on my game and my body to make sure I was back and ready to play at a high level for an entire season.
I also think that sitting out for the last 17 games last season gave me a unique opportunity to watch and learn from a different viewpoint than I have previously had. I was able to take in different things I saw watching our team play and incorporate that into my game and become smarter for different situations. I also think that my overall confidence has grown since last season, especially recently in terms of my jump shot.
N-L: Your team has had a very strong season so far. Who on the team has stepped up this season, and how have they contributed to your team’s play to get you guys where you are today?
CD: It has been a complete team effort to get to where we are today record wise. Everyone has provided so much every day to make us better, whatever role they have. I really have been excited with the play of Ethan Bartlett. He put in so much work over the offseason and has been a huge contributor to our success. Also, all of the freshmen have come in and done all they can to help the team.
N-L: What has been your favorite moment of the season so far?
CD: My favorite moment of the season so far was our comeback win over Washington College in January. We were down 19 points with 10 minutes to go, and we showed so much grit and toughness in that game. So many guys had huge moments in that game that helped us come back and push it to overtime, where we eventually won by three. That game was definitely a huge win for us.
N-L: What is the mindset of the team heading into the Centennial Conference tournament?
CD: Our mindset going into this weekend hasn’t changed from the mindset we have had all season. We’re going to take it one play at a time and give our best effort every minute we are out on the floor. I believe that we have a great chance to win back-to-back games this weekend and come home with a championship. We just need to play together and believe in each other.