SPORTS SPOTLIGHT | Noah Baca on his season with men’s basketball

As the Mountain Lions men’s basketball team nears post-season play, redshirt junior point guard Noah Baca is reflecting on the season and contributing to the team’s goal of making the playoffs.

The Mountain Lions had to adjust their gameplay throughout the season due to frequent injuries. Baca had recurring injuries throughout preseason, which he said made preseason difficult to get through.

“For me, the worst moment so far this year hasn’t exactly been just one moment — but more of a period of time in preseason. I had a few back-to-back injuries that were very frustrating to deal with at the time and made my time very difficult,” Baca said.

Baca said that he started to take things one day at a time since getting injured rather than rushing to set unrealistic long-term goals. “I am more focused on playing the best basketball I can with my role on the team and hopefully help to contribute to winning,” he said.

Baca said the team’s approach to the season and the resilience that they have shown will help them work toward their goals.

“Every year, our team and program have an expectation of winning. This year, we have had a ton of adversity, but I am proud of how we have responded and we still have a chance to make a playoff run.”

To achieve this collective goal, “[The coaches] have done a great job pushing us this year and doing their best to prepare us for the season and each game,” Baca said.

Baca thinks Coach Culver and his coaching staff have helped strengthen the team by encouraging them to reach this goal.

“The team has been pretty close this year and we have developed great connections with each other,” Baca said.

The team chemistry that Baca describes has resulted in some great results for the Mountain Lions this season.

“The highlight of the season so far was beating Fort Lewis since it was the first time in my career that we had beat a top ten team in the nation. The whole experience was so much fun,” he said.

Despite the stress of his recurring injuries, Baca seems to have less stress with his academics and has been able to easily balance them with basketball.

“This season, balancing my academics and sport has probably been the easiest of my time here at UCCS. I was able to take less classes in the fall since I graduated this winter, and so far, my master’s program has been a great experience,” he said.

Noah Baca during a game on Feb. 9. Photo by Lillian Davis.