WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — When the American University men’s basketball teams break down from a practice, the players and coaches put their hands in and say “all in.”
“I feel like we’re actually embodying it this year,” American junior forward Johnny O’neil said.
With a 6-2 record, the Eagles are out to their best start in more than a decade (2011).
“They mean it and they do it on a daily basis,” American men’s basketball head coach Mike Brennan said.
In his 10th season, Brennan has the Eagles on their first six-game win streak since his first season leading the program.
“We’re just trying to win,” Brennan said. “Just trying to build the program with good kids that understand what you’re trying to do.”
In 2013-14, Brennan led AU to a Patriot League title and NCAA tournament appearance. Brennan sees similarities between that team and this year’s squad.
“Great leadership and they were no nonsense. They were about winning, they were about working, they were about putting in the time and the effort every day,” Brennan said. “We have a similar mindset this year.”
In November, the Eagles’ focused mindset helped them take down local rival Georgetown for the first time in 40 years, winning 74-70.
“It was really breathtaking. It was fun to be a part of. We lived in the moment but we went to the next game and the win streak has been alive ever since,” American junior forward Matt Rogers said. “When we defeated Georgetown we were like why aren’t we one of the best teams in DC? We can be.”
American will visit George Washington Saturday at 4:00 p.m. with a chance to keep that success rolling.
“I came here with the one purpose to win and get to that Patriot League champion,” Rogers said. “It would be a cherry on top to be the best team in DC for sure.”