After back to back losing seasons the Quincy University men's basketball is off to a promising 3-2 start headed into Tuesday night's GLVC opener at Truman State.
Much of the credit for the Hawks early improvement can be credited to the outstanding play turned in by redshirt junior Tanner Stuckman.
The Hawks 6-9 standout forward is averaging a career-high 20 points a game right now, more than double his output from a season ago.
The Quincy Notre Dame alum is shooting 40 percent from three-point range, but with 10 to 15 pounds of muscle added over the off-season, Stuckman has expanded his game to the blocks as well.
After last year's disappointing 9-19 campaign, Hawks head coach Ryan Hellenthal put it on Stuckman to make that next step in his development on the hardwood, so that the QU hoops program could do the same.
Stuckman said, "At the end of the meetings you know he said you're going to have to take your game to the next level.
He said it's time for you to do that. You have a huge opportunity next year to I guess make yourself known in the conference and so I took that upon myself to make sure I work hard in the Summer to get where I'm at."
Admittedly Hellenthal didn't see this big of a jump coming up right away for Stuckman, but it was hard not to see big things developing in Tanner's future given just how much sweat equity he turns in day in and day out.
Hellenthal said that "There's not a kid that works harder than Tanner in the Midwest.
I promise you that. He's in there twice a day in the Summer, Spring.
Right now we're practicing and he's still getting another workout in after practice. So there's not a kid that works harder than him and I'm just glad to see his success and hope he can continue to build on that."