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Horizon League 2002-03 Season Recap

June 6, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



Horizon League 2002-03 Season Recap

by Zach Van Hart

During the regular season, it was a three-team race for first place – Butler, UW-Milwaukee and Illinois-Chicago. While the upstart Panthers and Flames made great runs, the veteran Bulldogs came away with the regular season crown. However, during the conference tournament it was UW-Milwaukee who captured the automatic bid to the dance with a 69-52 thrashing of Butler. Both teams would advance to the NCAA Tournament

Both teams received No. 12 seeds and both participated in dramatic first round games. The Panthers could not have gotten any closer to knocking off Notre Dame, losing 70-69. Dylan Page had an open lay-up during the final second but missed of the rim, as the Irish escaped. Butler’s last-second shot did fall, as Brandon Miller hit a leaner with 6.2 seconds left, leading the Bulldogs to a 47-46 win against Mississippi State. The dream season continued in the second round, as Butler easily beat Louisville, 79-71, to advance to the Sweet 16.

How teams fared in the NCAA:

Butler – No. 12 seed, East Region
Defeated No. 5 Mississippi State, 47-46
Defeated No. 4 Louisville, 79-71
Lost to No. 1 Oklahoma, 65-54

UW-Milwaukee – No. 12 seed, West Region
Lost to No. 5 Notre Dame, 70-69

How teams fared in the NIT:

Illinois-Chicago
Lost to Western Michigan, 63-62

First Team All-Horizon:
Willie Green, Detroit
Clay Tucker, UW-Milwaukee
Cedrick Banks, Illinois-Chicago
Seth Doliboa, Wright State
Dylan Page, UW-Milwaukee

Most Valuable Player

Willie Green, University of Detroit

Green, who led the league in scoring with a 22.3 scoring average, also ranked fifth in free throw percentage (.794), seventh in steals (1.33) and eighth in field goal percentage (.487). He also owned the top two scoring performances of the season, led by a 43-point effort in an 80-73 victory at UIC on Jan. 27.

Newcomer of the Year – Paul McMillan, Loyola

Defensive Player of the Year – Seth Doliboa, Wright State

Coach of the Year – Bruce Pearl, UW-Milwaukee

Butler

Record – 27-6, 14-2 Horizon
Starters staying – 1, leaving – 4

Players leaving:
Brandon Miller, graduated
Joel Cornette, graduated
Darnel Archey, graduated

Key players returning:
senior forward Mike Monserez
senior guard Duane Lightfoot
sophomore guard Avery Sheets

Top returning scorer – Lightfoot, 10.9 points per game
Top returning rebounder – Monserez, 5.4 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Monserez, 3.4 assists per game

Staying put – After an unlikely run to the Sweet 16, head coach Todd Lickliter signed a new, seven year deal that runs through the 2009-2010 season.

UW-Milwaukee

Record – 24-8, 13-3 Horizon
Starters staying – 2, leaving – 3

Players leaving:
Ronnie Jones, graduated
Jason Frederick, graduated
Clay Tucker, graduated

Key players returning:
senior forward Dylan Page
senior center Nate Mielke
junior forward Rob Sanders

Top returning scorer – Page, 17.7 points per game
Top returning rebounder – Page, 6.5 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Page, 1.3 assists per game

Also staying put, sort of – Head coach Bruce Pearl signed a contract extension, keeping him head coach through the 2007-2008 season. However, assistant coach Ryan Swanson left the team to become head coach at Garden City Community College in Kansas.

Illinois-Chicago

Record – 21-9, 12-4 Horizon
Starters staying – 5, leaving – 0

Players leaving:
Jonathan Schneiderman, graduated
Kyle Kickert, graduated

Key players returning:
senior forward Armond Williams
senior forward Cedric Banks
senior guard Martell Bailey

Top returning scorer – Banks, 19.0 points per game
Top returning rebounder – Williams, 7.6 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Bailey, 8.1 assists per game

Detroit

Record – 18-12, 9-7 Horizon
Starters staying – 3, leaving – 2

Players leaving:
Terrell Riggs, graduated
Willie Green, graduated

Key players returning:
senior guard Rulan Harris
senior forward Willie Wallace
senior forward Elijah Warren

Top returning scorer – Warren, 11.4 points per game
Top returning rebounder – Warren, 4.9 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Harris, 2.1 assists per game

Loyola-Chicago

Record – 15-16, 9-7 Horizon
Starters staying – 2, leaving – 3

Players leaving:
David Bailey, graduated
Kevin Clancy, graduated
Corey Minnifield, graduated

Key players returning:
senior forward Paul McMillan
senior center Demetrius Williams
sophomore Terrance Whiters

Top returning scorer – McMillan, 14.6 points per game
Top returning rebounder – McMillan, 9.0 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Whiters, 1.7 assists per game

Wright State

Record – 10-18, 4-12 Horizon
Starters staying – 1, leaving – 4

Players leaving:
Vernard Hollins, graduated
Tyson Freeman, graduated
Joe Bills, graduated
Thomas Hope, graduated

Key players returning:
senior forward Seth Doliboa
senior forward Braden Bushman
senior guard Trent Vaughn

Top returning scorer – Doliboa, 22.3 points per game
Top returning rebounder – Doliboa, 7.5 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Freeman, 1.5 assists per game

Big name taking the helm – After six seasons, head coach Ed Schilling was fired following the past year. The new head coach is Paul Biancardi, who spent the past 13 seasons as an assistant to Jim O’Brien, first at Boston College and the past six seasons at Ohio State.

UW-Green Bay

Record – 10-20, 4-12 Horizon
Starters staying – 2, leaving – 3

Players leaving:
Aaron Jessup, graduated
Greg Babcock, graduated
Brandon Hansen, transferring

Key players returning:
junior guard Matt Rohde
senior forward Mike King
sophomore guard Terry Parker

Top returning scorer – Rohde, 12.8 points per game
Top returning rebounder – King, 4.9 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Rohde, 4.6 assists per game

Jumping ship – Hansen and junior Greg Monfre both left the Phoenix after the season. While head coach Tod Kowalczyk had nothing but kind words for Monfre, he did not feel the same way about Hansen. “I am disappointed that Brandon did not put forth what I would consider a Division I commitment,” said Kowalczyk. “He did not elect to show the commitment and dedication required to earn a scholarship.”

Youngstown State

Record – 9-20, 4-12 Horizon
Starters staying – 4, leaving – 1

Players leaving:
Marlon Williamson, graduated

Key players returning:
junior guard Doug Underwood
senior forward TeJay Anderson
senior center Adam Baumann

Top returning scorer – Underwood, 14.7 points per game
Top returning rebounder – Baumann, 7.7 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Anderson, 2.8 assists per game

Cleveland State

Record – 8-22, 3-13 Horizon
Starters staying – 3, leaving – 2

Players leaving:
Andre Williams, graduated
Tahric Gosley, graduated

Key players returning:
senior guard Modibo Niakate
senior center Pape Badiane
junior guard Walt Chavis

Top returning scorer – Niakate, 11.9 points per game
Top returning rebounder – Badiane, 5.3 rebounds per game
Top returning assist man – Chavis, 4.9 assists per game

Rolling on out – Rollie Massimino resigned after seven seasons as head coach of the Vikings at the end of the year. Mike Garland, who spent the past seven seasons as an assistant coach to Tom Izzo at Michigan State, is the new head coach.

     

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