The Dordt College men’s basketball team is off to an 8-1 start after a 95-78 win at Dakota Wesleyan on Wednesday night. The Defenders entered the season with lofty expectations after posting a 30-5 mark last season which included a trip to the quarterfinal round of the NAIA national tournament.

Coach Ross Douma says his team is learning how to play with a target on its back, which he says is something new for them and will intensify as they enter the conference season.

Depth is one of the strengths this season. The Defenders have ten players averaging ten or more minutes of playing time. He says they feel confident about playing 10 guys, and have 10 guys they feel can play at an elite level.

Dordt is connecting on 52 percent from the field and Douma says good passing is leading to quality shots. He says they share the ball well and have players who are smart and know how to help their teammates score.

They are also connecting on better than 42 percent from three point range. Douma says strong play around the basket helps set up the perimeter game.

Dordt returns to action on Saturday with a visit to Midland of Nebraska.