By RICKY LINDSAY, Editor-in-Chief
The 2015-2016 University of Michigan-Dearborn men’s basketball team is the best in the program’s history.
The Wolverines won their 14th game Wednesday — a 59-57 victory over Madonna — breaking the program record for single-season wins.
“I’d put it right up there with the biggest wins in the history of the program, well before me for 40 years,” UM-Dearborn head coach Taylor Langley said.
The previous program record for wins in a season was 13. The Wolverines accomplished this feat twice, winning 13 games in the 1982-1983 and 1999-2000 seasons.
“It’s huge. It’s kind of a small feat for us because we still want more… I don’t want to break the record and then have a losing record,” senior forward Paul Standtke said. “We don’t want to be the best team in school history with a losing record. We want to get a winning record, make the playoffs and make some noise. We’re not like the Lions, we don’t want to hop in the playoffs and just hop right out. We want to actually take advantage of it.”
Other Wolverines echoed Standtke’s sentiments regarding a late-season push. The team currently sits at sixth place in the Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference.
“We’ve just started. We’re trying to finish out the season; we’re trying to kill this record,” sophomore guard Ali Farhat said. “Postseason is the most important part. (When) we get in there, all the rankings and all those wins and losses are all wiped out. It’s either you win or you lose from there, so the tournament is everything right now.”
Standtke, who has at least three games remaining in his UM-Dearborn career, said that while it will be bittersweet to walk away, this is what Langley and he envisioned when he signed with the program in August 2014.
“It’s exactly what me and Taylor envisioned when I came here. When he came and talked to me, we met at Taco Bell… this is what we envisioned,” Standtke said. “It’s kind of bittersweet for me because I’m kind of leaving knowing that this program is being built now, and I’m hoping that years from now when I come back that we just keep winning more and more and it becomes to where we’re like a Davenport, we’re like a Cornerstone and we’re not just known as an academic school. Hey, next thing you know, we might have a wood floor. Winning solves a lot of problems… anytime a team wins, money just comes out of nowhere, so that’s what we’re hoping for. I just want to see better things; I don’t want to keep getting looked at as just an academic school or an easy win.”
Langley said he views win No. 14 as a stepping stone, but said the athletes have earned this mark.
“They’ve earned that right to say, ‘Hey, we’re the best team in school history at UM-Dearborn,’ and I think that’s pretty special for them,” he said.