The 5-7 record of the Peru State men's basketball may bring concern to some, but for the past two years, the Bobcats under the direction of head coach Eric Behrens, have been able to turn it around in the second semester.
 
Behrens' first team in 2014-15 was 7-4 at the break and finished 18-13 while last year's team was 6-6 and finished with a 22-11 record. Last season, the 'Cats made an appearance in the 2016 Buffalo Funds NAIA Division 1 Men's Basketball Tournament in Kansas City, Mo., in March.
 
Prior to Behrens coming to Peru State, the 'Cats were 4-7 in 2013-14 and finished the year with a 9-19 record.
 
In the Heart, Peru State is 4-4 in conference action as the contests started earlier with the addition of league newcomers Mt. Mercy and Clarke, both of Iowa. Last year, the 'Cats were 3-2 in the Heart at this juncture in the season.
 
As a team, Peru State is ranked in numerous categories in the NAIA Division I Top 50 Team Rankings (as of Dec. 13). They include: 12th in three-point field goals made (108), 13th in total blocks (43), 17th in total offensive rebounds (473), 21st in blocks per game (3.583), 22nd in total scoring offense (945), 25th in three-point field goals made per game (9.000), 31st in free throw percentage (0.712), 35th in total rebound defense (34.417), 36th in defensive rebounds per game (28.667), 37th in three-point field goal percentage (0.371), 38th in total rebound margin (5.000), 41st in total assists (154), 42nd in total steals (76), 45th in field goal percentage defense (0.425), 45th in total rebounds per game (39.417), and 48th in three-point field goal percentage defense (0.334).

Four Bobcat players are currently listed in the NAIA Top 50 Individual Rankings (as of Dec. 13). They include:
 
Lyle Hexom (Omaha) – second in total blocks (30), fourth in blocks per game (2.500), eighth in total rebounds (106), 11th in defensive rebounds per game (6.833), 13th in total scoring (224), 19th in total rebounds per game (8.833), 27th in points per game (18.667), and 46th in total steals (17).
 
Rashad Brackeen (Oakland, Calif.) – second in total three-point field goals made (44), third in three-point field goals per game (3.667), ninth in total scoring (236), 21st in points per game (19.667), and 40th in total assists (40).
 
Brandon Eboigbodin (Nashville) – 41st in total rebounds (76), 45th in defensive rebounds per game (5.300), 46th in total steals (17), and 48th in steals per game (1.700).
 
In the Heart, the Bobcats as a team are ranked in the top half in the following areas: second in total offensive rebounds with 473, tied for second in three-point field goals made with 108, third in total scoring offense with 945 points, fourth in total offensive rebounds per game at 39.42, fourth in total rebound margin at 5.00, fourth in total blocks with 43, fifth in field goal defense at 42.5%, tied for fourth with 76 total steals, fifth in three-point field goal offense at 37.1%, fifth at three-point field goal defense at 33.4%, fifth in total rebounds defense per game at 34.42, fifth in total offensive rebounds per game at 10.75, fifth in defensive rebounds per game at 28.67, fifth in blocks per game at 3.58, sixth in three-point field goals made per game at 9.00, seventh in scoring offense per game at 78.75, seventh in scoring defense per game at 77.50, and seventh in total assists with 154, seventh in steals per game with 6.33.
 
Individually, the following Bobcats are among the Top 20 in the Heart individual statistical categories:
 
Brackeen – first in three-point field goals made per game at 3.67, first in three-point field goals made with 44, third in total scoring with 236 points, fourth in scoring per game at 19.67, fourth in total assists with 40, seventh in assists per game at 3.33, tied for seventh in double-doubles with one, ninth in field goal percentage at 40.6%, 12th in three-point field goal percentage at 40.7%, tied for 12th in total rebounds with 63, tied for 15th in defensive rebounds per game at 4.08, and 18th in total rebounds per game at 5.25.

 Hexom – first in total blocks with 30, second in total rebounds per game with 8.83, second in total rebounds with 106, second in defensive rebounds per game at 6.83, second in blocks per game at 2.50, second in double-doubles with six, fifth in scoring per game at 18.67, fifth in total scoring with 224 points, tied for fifth in total steals with 17, sixth in field goal percentage at 46.4%, eighth in steals per game at 1.42, tied for eighth in offensive rebounds per game at 2.00, tied for tenth in three-point field goal percentage at 41.2%, 16th in free throw percentage at 76.3%, tied for 16th in three-point field goals made with 21, and tied for 18th in three-point field goals made per game at 1.75.
 
Matej Delinac (Brampton, Ontario, Canada) – tied for seventh in double-doubles with one, tied for eighth in total scoring with 163 points, 14th in total rebounds with 62, 15th in scoring per game at 13.58, tied for 16th in three-point field goals made with 21, 17th in offensive rebounds per game at 1.58, 18th in free throw percentage at 74.4%, tied for 18th in three-point field goals made per game at 1.75, and 19th in total rebounds per game at 5.17.
 
Eboigbodin – tied for fourth in steals per game at 1.70, fifth in total rebounds per game with 7.60, tied for fifth in total steals with 17, sixth in offensive rebounds per game at 2.30, seventh in total rebounds with 76, seventh in defensive rebounds per game at 5.30, and tied for seventh in double-doubles with one.
6041 Marley Biyendolo
Biyendolo – tied for fifth in total assists with 39, ninth in assists per game at 3.25, and tied for 15th in defensive rebounds per game at 4.08.
 
Noah Vasa (Nebraska City) – tenth in blocks per game at 0.78 and tied for 13th in total blocks with 7.
 
The Bobcats will begin the 2017 portion of their schedule with an exhibition contest against NCAA DII Washburn University in Topeka, Kan., on Jan. 2 at 7:30 p.m.
 
On Wednesday, Jan. 4, the 'Cats will begin the rest of their Heart conference schedule with a match-up against Graceland in Lamoni, Iowa, at 7:30 p.m.
 
The following Saturday, Jan. 7, will be the first home game of 2017 for Peru State when then host Baker (Kan.) at 4 p.m. in the Al Wheeler Activity Center.