Point guards have the responsibility of organizing all the action on the court, and Chris Andrews ’09 is keeping it together for the men’s basketball team.
Andrews made a name for himself during his freshman year by playing off the bench in all 29 games for the Bulldogs (6-9, 0-0 Ivy). He tied for having the fifth-highest number of steals that season and was sixth in assists. But the following year, in September 2006, Andrews tore his left ACL, wiping out his sophomore year. Then, in August 2007, Andrews tore his right ACL, preventing him from playing a full season during his third year.
He returned to the court for the later games of the 2007-’08 season, playing only two games. His return garnered a warm welcome from the home audience, setting the tone for the point guard’s popularity with his loyal fans.
Now in his fourth year at Yale, Andrews has started out this season on a good note. One of his standout performances was in the game against NJIT (0-15) on Jan. 7 in Newark, N.J., when Andrews made a big three-pointer at the end of the first half. This took the Bulldogs to a 13-point lead, helping propel them to an easy 80-51 victory.
“The whole team relies on the point guard because he acts as a quarterback for the team by keeping everyone on the same page,” Garrett Fiddler ’11 said. “For me personally, Chris does a nice job of driving and dishing the ball to the big guys like me.”
All of the Elis, in fact, agreed that Andrews’ presence on the team is invaluable. In addition to maintaining communication on the court, the point guard also has made it part of his job to pump up fellow players and heighten their focus for the game.
“I let our team know what our plans are, and I’m very vocal,” Andrews said. With a laugh, he added: “I talk a lot in general.”
Andrews said that his technical strength on the court is guarding the ball and anticipating the opposing team’s offensive moves. But he isn’t only facilitating action in the game — he also leads the team to success by setting an example.
“He is one of our leaders, and the team looks [to him] for leadership both on and off the court,” fellow point guard Porter Braswell ’11 said. “He does a great job in that role.”
In terms of expectations for the rest of the season, Andrews said he is confident that he can help the team dominate the court by focusing on defense.
“I expect us to play hard in every game and give ourselves an opportunity to be successful,” he said. “We’re trying to grasp what our coaches are asking us to do, and we have a great momentum going because we won our last three games.”
This Friday, the men will face off against Brown in Providence, R.I., for the team’s Ivy League opener. This will be the first of a two-game series with the Bears.
Andrews said as long as every player is aware of his teammates, tougher plays can be called and the team will be able to snatch a road victory.
“Our team chemistry is definitely groovin’,” he said.