The Texas Wesleyan’s men and women’s teams are playing some of the best basketball
in school history.
The men started the season 12-0, and at one point were ranked No.12 in the National
Association of Collegiate Athletics. The 12-0 start was the second best in school history, second
only to the 1940 team which won its first 19 games.
As the Rambler goes to press, the men are 14-7; last year’s team was 12-9 at this point of
At the same time, the women’s team is 15-7, as compared to 9-13 a year ago. At the
beginning of the season, the Lady Rams were ranked No. 6 in the Sooner Athletic Conference,
and got a major upset win on Jan. 10, when they beat Oklahoma Baptist University, who at the
time was ranked No. 5 in the country.
Men’s head coach Brennen Shingleton attributes his team’s fast start to preparation and
“I’ve never had a group committed to preparation as far as the conditioning and they
were ready.” Shingleton said. “I think the 12-0 start had a lot to do with unselfishness. We had a
lot of guys give something up in order to make us successful.”
Shingleton said the biggest difference between this year and last is this team’s ability to
be coached, and the fact that they play for each other.
“Every time we are backed in a corner, they fight, and they fight for each other.”
Shingleton isn’t too concerned with his team’s 3-5 conference record because, he said,
the conference has so much depth, and anything can happen on a daily basis.
With the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament coming up in March, Shingleton isn’t
really worried about any team, because he feels that the Rams could have won every game they
have played this season.
“If we can string a couple of games together, we can really make a run at this thing,”
Shingleton said. “We can match up in a lot of different ways, and play a lot of different styles.
It’s fun to watch.”
Women’s head coach Bill Franey said that better players are one of the reasons that this
team has had more success, as well as the tough non-conference schedule that they have played.
“We played a couple of Division 1 teams, such as TCU” Franey said. “Those teams won,
but I feel like it made us better. We have good players, but we’ve only lost a few seniors so
we’re deeper than we have been in the past.”
With the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament approaching in March, Franey sees
Oklahoma City as being a tough and dominant team. He compares them to Duke University of
“They are ranked No. 2 in the country, and they have a player, Marisha Wallace, who
was the preseason Big 12 player of the year a season ago at Oklahoma State.” Franey said. “They
are the measuring stick that everyone wants to be like.”
Franey said the seven seniors on this year’s team want to go out on top, and also want to
be the first Wesleyan women’s team to win a game at the NAIA national tournament. He is
extremely proud of his team because they beat Oklahoma Baptist, 77-59 on Jan. 10. At the time,
the Bison were ranked No. 5 in the country.
“A win like that really helps our team get more on the map.” Franey said. “It will also
really help boost our resume when it comes time for the NAIA national tournament.”
Franey said he is particularly proud of seniors Amy Easley and Stacy Darnley, junior Oni
Nolisa, and sophomore Kaitlyn Threats, who have really “carried the load” for the Lady Rams all
year. Threats is leading the Lady Rams in scoring with 14.8 points per game, while ranking No.9
nationally in field goal percentage at 54 percent.
While Franey’s team is stocked with seniors, Shingleton’s team is much younger, with
only two seniors out of 13 players, However, like Franey, Shingleton is proud of how his squad
is working together.
“The record is one thing, but the process that we’ve been going through is even better,”
Shingleton said. “We’re going to have some guys that will maybe have the opportunity to do this
for a little bit as a career, but most of them are going to be college athletes, get a degree, go on
and hopefully be proud of this place.”