The Concordia Invitational Tournament seems to bring the best out of each competitor. Maybe it is the history or maybe it is the midseason surge we so often talk about. The answer is unclear, but what is clear is the excitement for basketball during these frigid Midwestern winter months. In today's #CIT2014 blog, we will look at a few Falcon Men's Basketball (8-8) players to keep an eye on.
Eric Kittel, Guard, Freshman, Brillion, Wis.:
One of the youngest players on the Falcons roster will have much more of an impact than simply in the box score. It will be Kittel's first CIT and while he may not understand the emotions of playing in front of a standing room only crowd in back-to-back games, he will certainly play his hardest. Finding the best way to maintain the high intensity that the CIT brings may be a challenge for the rookie, so look for Eric Kittel to feed off his teammates who experienced the sweet taste of a CIT championship run a season ago.
The presence of first-year point guard has brought a new found sense of leadership only he can deliver. For the season, Kittel is averaging 3.7 assists per game and has a 2.46 assist-to-turnover ratio. While he may be short in stature, the Brillion, Wis., native can also put the ball in the hoop with his 10.6 points per game average. Over the past 10 games, he has tallied eight double-digit scoring contests. Kittel has put together highlight reel plays and continues to be a threat from outside the arc (43.8 percent). Look for him to be a leader as the Falcons go for consecutive CIT titles.
Keith Kahlfeldt, Forward, Sophomore, New Berlin, Wis.:
Coming off a blistering 23-point performance against Rockford this past Saturday, Keith Kahlfeldt has been an absolute force for the Falcons this season. Thus far, he is averaging a team-best 17.6 points, to go along with 4.6 rebounds per game, while shooting just shy of 50 percent from the field, 41.4 percent from downtown and 75.5 percent at the charity stripe. Not letting his youth discourage him, Kahlfeldt's tenacity in the paint has been second-to-none on the roster, providing the Falcons with the grit and toughness needed to prevail in the historic Concordia Invitational Tournament.
Having racked up seven 20-point performances already on the year, Kahlfeldt has shown why he is the number one scoring option for the Falcons. Fans should be watchful for effective shots around the rim by the forward, in addition to a well-informed leadership on both ends of the court. Do not discount the importance of playing on your home court either, as he has managed to score 19.8 points per game while shooting an impressive 54.8 percent from the floor inside the R. John Buuck Field House. Expect the home crowd to add fuel to his recent hot streak.