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Bucknell Bison 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 7, 2013 in Conference Notes
bucknell

Bucknell Bison (28-6 overall, 12-2 league)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Cameron Ayers
Sr. G Ryan Hill
Jr. G Steven Kaspar
So. F Dom Hoffman
Sr. F Brian Fitzpatrick

Important departures:

The Bison saw their core graduate, consisting of G Bryson Johnson (11.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.3 apg), F Joe Willman (10.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.5 apg) and C Mike Muscala (18.7 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 2.3 apg, 2.4 bpg).

Returning:

39.6 percent of scoring and 45.2 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F D.J. MacLeay
Fr. G John Azzinaro
Fr. C Ben Oberfeld

Schedule Highlights:

A challenging non-league slate awaits the Bison, including four home games headlined by a visit from Ivy League contender Princeton. They will go on the road to play Stanford, St. John’s, Northeast contender Mount St. Mary’s and Kent State. Three of their first four Patriot League games are at home, but they finish with three of four on the road.

Projected finish and outlook:

Although the Bison lost much more than just stats could describe from last season’s team, they aren’t exactly starting over. This is still a veteran team with good talent, and now many players who have winning experience have to move into bigger roles. Ayers should be just fine in that respect, having been a key player behind the big three last year, while Hill, Kaspar and Ryan Frazier will all complement him. Frazier is the best defender of the bunch, while Hill and Kaspar will need to be scoring threats to keep defenses honest. Fitzpatrick keys the frontcourt as he is experienced and helped off the bench last season, while Hoffman is talented and now gets his chance. Oberfeld could jump right in as well. Bucknell was easily the league’s best defensive team last season, out-rebounding teams by the top margin in the league as well. Repeating that will be a tall chore, but essential if they are to contend again given the loss of offense. It would also help if they take care of the ball just as well after they were the only team in the league to turn it over less than ten times a game last season.

Next: Colgate Raiders

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Colgate Raiders 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 7, 2013 in Conference Notes
colgate

Colgate Raiders (11-21 overall, 5-9 league)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Luke Roh
Sr. G Pat Moore
So. G Austin Tillotson
Sr. F Murphy Burnatowski
Jr. F Matt McMullen

Important departures:

Two starters are gone from last season’s team: G Mitch Rolls (7.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.8 apg) and C John Brandenburg (5.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg). Also gone is reserve F Brandon James (8.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.0 apg).

Returning:

70 percent of scoring and 73.6 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. G Andrew Bargmann
Fr. C John Fenton
Fr. F Jack Fleming
Fr. C Wyatt Hagarty
Fr. G Nathan Harries
Jr. C Ethan Jacobs (transfer from Ohio)
So. G Austin Tillotson (transfer from Monmouth)

Schedule Highlights:

The Raiders did well to land five non-league home games, including a visit from Fordham. The season starts with trips to Wake Forest and Syracuse, and they later travel to Georgetown. In league play, after opening with Lehigh at home they go on the road for three of four, including games at Bucknell and Boston University.

Projected finish and outlook:

Matt Langel’s work continues this season, and the Raiders look like they’re making strides albeit at a time when the league as a whole is on a good upswing. They will continue to build around Burnatowski, the league’s top returning scorer. Roh and Moore have shown potential, with the former finishing in the top six in the league in both rebounds and assists last season, and they should be joined by Tillotson, who started 18 games at Monmouth two seasons ago. Junior Damon Sherman-Newsome will probably be the first guard off the bench. Burnatowski will likely be joined by McMullen up front, but they can go bigger with Jacobs and Hagerty, who both stand 6’11″, or Fenton at 6’9″. Colgate still has a lot of areas for improvement, perhaps most notably with the possession battle as they had the worst turnover margin in the league last year. Rectifying that will be a good starting point to move up in the standings.

Next: Holy Cross Crusaders

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Holy Cross Crusaders 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 7, 2013 in Conference Notes
holycross

Holy Cross Crusaders (12-18 overall, 4-10 league)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Justin Burrell
So. G Cullen Hamilton
Jr. F Malcolm Miller
Jr. F Taylor Abt
Sr. F-C Dave Dudzinski

Important departures:

Among starters, F Phil Beans (9.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg) and G-F Jordan Stevens (5.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.5 apg) are gone, and F Eric Obeysekere (4.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and G Dee Goens (2.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.6 apg) have also departed.

Returning:

68 percent of scoring and 66.9 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F Malachi Alexander
Fr. G-F Robert Champion
So. F Riley Criswell
So. G-F Eric Green
Fr. C Matt Husek
Fr. G Anthony Thompson

Schedule Highlights:

The non-league slate will be a tough one, especially with just three home games. They also open against Harvard at the Boston Garden. They play in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off at North Carolina and Fairfield before two games at Mohegan Sun Arena, the first of which is against Belmont. Later, they close the slate at Michigan. They open and close Patriot League play with Boston University, and in between they have corresponding road-heavy and home-heavy portions, though five of the last seven are at home.

Projected finish and outlook:

Year four under Milan Brown has arrived, and it’s a crucial one for this program from a progress standpoint. Holy Cross has just one senior in Dudzinski, but the sophomores and juniors are the key to where they are headed. Burrell will have the keys to the offense again, and while he shot the ball better from deep and was second in scoring, his turnovers were up from his freshman year. Hamilton looks like more of a complete player, which should help him shoot better than he did last year. Thompson will be the primary backup at the point and at times play with Burrell for a quick lineup, and his competitive motor will energize the second unit. Green sat out last year but is ready to go after being one of their best players in practice and could play as a third guard as well. Up front, Abt and Alexander will be the main complements to Dudzinski, while Christopher Morgan started some games late last year but is not as good as the other two. They like Husek’s potential, but he isn’t physically ready to play significant minutes. Miller is the team’s X-factor on the wing, and while Alexander may see time there Champion could be in the mix as well. While Holy Cross could still stand to improve defensively, they were a solid bottom-half team at the offensive end last season in shooting and turnovers, and as a result scoring suffered. If the offense gets better and they at least maintain their defensive performance from last season, they can move up in the standings.

Next: Lafayette Leopards

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Lafayette Leopards 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 7, 2013 in Conference Notes
lafayette

Lafayette Leopards (19-15 overall, 10-4 league)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Seth Hinrichs
Jr. G Joey Ptasinski
So. G Bryce Scott
Jr. F Dan Trist
Jr. F Alan Flannigan

Important departures:

Two starters are gone from last season: G Tony Johnson (13.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.8 apg, 1.9 spg) and C Levi Giese (6.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.8 bpg).

Returning:

70.1 percent of scoring and 73.3 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. G Monty Boykins
Fr. F Michael Hoffman
Fr. G Nick Lindner
Fr. G Jake Newman

Schedule Highlights:

The Leopards have four non-league home games, headlined by a visit from Northeast contender Robert Morris. They open the season at Villanova and later head to Ivy League contender Princeton and Northeast contender Wagner. In league play, the Leopards have a chance for a nice start as three of the first four are at home. The flip side is that three of their final four come on the road.

Projected finish and outlook:

Down the stretch last season, Lafayette was arguably the best team in the league as they were simply on a tear before losing to Bucknell in the league title game. A big part of that is gone with Johnson’s departure, as he was not only their best player but also the heart and soul of the team. But they still have a solid backcourt with Hinrichs, Ptasinski and Scott leading the way. Hinrichs shot 45.6 percent from long range and was quietly fifth in the league in scoring last season. With Trust returning up front this team has a solid core and has size up front with four players who stand 6’9″ or taller, although three of the four are sophomores. The Leopards have a lot of role players back as well. What’s surprising about the run they had last season is that they were by far the worst defensive team in the league in allowing opponents to shoot over 46 percent from the field, and they were also out-rebounded by four per game. An improvement there would go a long way towards taking the next step. With just two seniors, this team is set up well for another year after this, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Leopards were playing for the league title in March once more.

Next: Lehigh Mountain Hawks

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Lehigh Mountain Hawks 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 7, 2013 in Conference Notes
lehigh

Lehigh Mountain Hawks (21-10 overall, 10-4 league)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Mackey McKnight
Sr. G Anthony D’Orazio
Jr. G Corey Schaefer
So. F Jesse Chuku
So. F Justin Goldsborough

Important departures:

The Mountain Hawks lose three big starters from last season’s team: G C.J. McCollum (23.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.9 apg in 12 games), F Gabe Knutson (13.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.1 apg) and F Holden Greiner (13.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.3 spg). Also gone is G B.J. Bailey (8.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.4 apg), who started 14 of the 18 games he played.

Returning:

43.7 percent of scoring and 43.5 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F-C Tim Kempton
Fr. F Georgios Pilitsis
Fr. G Austin Price
Fr. G Cole Renninger
Fr. G Miles Simelton
Fr. F Shane Whitfield

Schedule Highlights:

The Mountain Hawks’ non-league slate has five home games, including visits from MAAC contender Rider and Northeast contender LIU. They open at Minnesota, later play at improving Fordham, then play in the Legends Classic at Houston and Pittsburgh and close out 2013 at Northeast contender Bryant. They begin and end league play with three of five at home.

Projected finish and outlook:

It’s easy to forget that Lehigh loses much more than just McCollum, who they also lost for much of last season due to injury. Knutson and Greiner were huge contributors as well, and Bailey was hardly a bit player. The cupboard isn’t bare, but much of the talent is younger and less proven. The good thing is that they have most of their experience on the perimeter, starting with McKnight, the team leader. He became more assertive later in the season, while D’Orazio, Schaefer and junior Stefan Cvrklaj give him several options on the wing. There is good young talent up front, starting with Chuku, who had to sit out last season and should make an instant impact. Goldsbrough may be the other incumbent up front, but don’t be surprised if he is supplanted by Kempton, the son of the former NBA big man. Lehigh is probably not going to replicate their showing at the offensive end last season, where they still led the league in scoring and field goal percentage while turning the ball over less than any team except Bucknell. If they can repeat the last statistic and play the same good defense they played last season, they should have a fighting chance.

Next: Loyola (Md.) Greyhounds

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Loyola (Md.) Greyhounds 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 7, 2013 in Conference Notes
loyola-maryland

Loyola (Md.) Greyhounds (23-12 overall, 12-6 MAAC)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Dylon Cormier
Jr. G Denzel Brito
Jr. G R.J. Williams
Sr. F Jordan Latham
So. F Franz Rassman

Important departures:

Erik Etherly (15.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.5 spg), Robert Olson (12.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.1 spg), and Anthony Winbush (7.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.4 apg) are all gone from last season’s team, along with Julius Brooks (4.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg), a part-time starter.

Returning:

44.7 percent of scoring and 44.7 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Jr. G Denzel Brito (transferred from Loyola (Ill.))
Fr. F Josh Forney (redshirted)
Fr. F Nick Gorski
Fr. F Damion Rashford (redshirted)
Fr. G Sean Tuohy, Jr. (redshirted)

Schedule Highlights:

The Greyhounds have four non-league home games, highlighted by visits from America East contender Stony Brook and Saint Joseph’s. They head on the road to play at Connecticut, West Virginia, Northeast contender Mount St. Mary’s and Miami. Three of their first five league games are at home, and they also close with three of five at home.

Projected finish and outlook:

The Greyhounds will be new all over the place this season, with three starters gone, a new head coach and being a newcomer to the league. The cupboard isn’t bare, and with most of the proven talent being on the perimeter they could be a sleeper team. Cormier is the team’s unquestioned leader, while Brito started at Loyola (Ill.) and should make an instant impact now that he’s eligible and should get to play off the ball, where he is better suited, since Williams will run the show. Tyler Hubbard also returns to give them a proven reserve, and sophomore Jarred Jones could be an interesting X-factor as he can play either wing at 6’7″. Where they need players to emerge is up front, as Latham will anchor the group and needs Rassman or one of the freshmen to make an impact right away to help. The Greyhounds will be capable of pushing the pace and turning teams over once again, and they’ll need to do that more given the lack of proven bodies inside. If they succeed, they could push for a top-three finish.

Next: Navy Midshipmen

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Navy Midshipmen 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 7, 2013 in Conference Notes
navy

Navy Midshipmen (8-23 overall, 2-12 league)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Tilman Dunbar
Jr. G Brandon Venturini
Sr. G Thurgood Wynn
Jr. F Worth Smith
So. F-C Will Kelly

Important departures:

The only departures who played anything resembling significant minutes last season were G Isaiah Roberts (3.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg in seven games) and G Brennan Wyatt (1.9 ppg, 1.1 rpg).

Returning:

91.2 percent of scoring and 87 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. G Tim Abruzzo
Fr. F-C Edward Alade
Fr. G Payne Andrus
Fr. G Michael Brown
Fr. F Enuoma Ebinum
Fr. G Zach Fong
Fr. F James Hemphill
Fr. G Kyle Quintana
Fr. G Grant Vermeer

Schedule Highlights:

Navy plays four home games in a non-league schedule that starts with the Midshipmen opening Towson’s new arena. They also go on the road to play at Virginia and Northeast contender Bryant. Patriot League play begins with a tough stretch: at Loyola (Md.), home against Lafayette and at Boston University.

Projected finish and outlook:

Navy brings a lot back, which can be good or bad. On one hand, there is continuity and more experience, but on the other hand much of this group played for last season’s 8-23 team. They have a good core with Dunbar, Venturini and Smith, all of whom are capable of being all-league players. Smith could get a double-double on a lot of nights. Wynn and Kelly are the primary complements, and a number of other players, including nine freshmen, will compete for roles and minutes behind them. Navy’s big areas for improvement involve finishing possessions at both ends of the floor, as they must rebound better after they were last in the league in rebounding margin last season, and make more shots, as they took good care of the ball but were last in the league in field goal percentage. They weren’t bad defensively, even coming in third in turnovers forced, but they need to get results from their hard work.

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2013-14 Ivy League Preview

by - Published November 6, 2013 in Columns
ivy

This year’s Ivy League race can be summed up very simply: if Harvard does not win, it will be nothing short of a stunning upset. There is more to the league, naturally, but that’s the starting point.

The Crimson’s story has been well-chronicled to date, so there’s no need to go over the details here. They have an embarrassment of riches that no team in the Ivy has had in a long time, and if they do well in non-league play they could be in the conversation for a high NCAA Tournament seed. The Crimson have a number of players who could contend for All-Ivy honors, and their freshmen are good, too, but won’t get enough minutes or enough of a role this year to have a chance at winning the league’s rookie honor like Siyani Chambers did last year.

… Continue Reading

Brown Bears 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2013 in Conference Notes
brown

Brown Bears (13-15 overall, 7-7 league)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Sean McGonagill
Fr. G Tavon Blackmon
Jr. G Longji Yiljep
So. F Cedrick Kuakumensah
Jr. C Rafael Maia

Important departures:

Two starters are gone from last season’s team: G Matt Sullivan (14.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.7 spg) and F Tucker Halpern (9.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.3 spg). Also gone are F Tyler Ponticelli (3.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.5 apg) and G Stephen Albrecht (6.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg).

Returning:

54.2 percent of scoring and 69.1 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. G Tavon Blackmon
Fr. G Norman Hobbie
Fr. F Leland King
Fr. G Matty Madigan
Fr. F-C Aram Martin
Fr. G Steven Speith

Schedule Highlights:

The Bears have six home games in non-league play, including the last three, a stretch which starts with a visit from Rhode Island. The rest of the schedule is not overwhelming, with trips to Providence, Bryant and Northwestern looking like the toughest ones. In Ivy League play, the toughest stretch may be at the end, as they play four in a row on the road and then come home to play Dartmouth and Harvard.

Projected finish and outlook:

In short order, Mike Martin has his alma mater going very much in the right direction. The first step was forging an identity, which the team lacked a year earlier in part because injuries and other issues ripped the roster to shreds. Next was playing to that identity and staying healthy, which they largely did. And while they will miss Sullivan and Albrecht on the perimeter, they have plenty of potential there, especially if any freshmen besides Blackmon make an impact right away. McGonagill has made this team go for three years and now has good help around him, and Blackmon should only make his life a little easier and Yiljep showed some potential early last season. The frontcourt is in better shape, as Kuakumensah was the league’s top defensive player as a freshman, Maia can own the boards and they get Dockery Walker back from injury. The Bears have a lot of room for improvement offensively, as only two Ivy teams turned the ball over more and only Dartmouth shot a lower percentage from the floor. While they are a good defensive team, they aren’t going to turn teams over, so taking better care of the ball will be paramount to win the possession battle.

Next: Columbia Lions

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Columbia Lions 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2013 in Conference Notes
columbia

Columbia Lions (12-16 overall, 4-10 league)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Grant Mullins
So. G Maodo Lo
Jr. G Steve Frankoski
Jr. F Alex Rosenberg
Jr. C Cory Osetkowski

Important departures:

G Brian Barbour (12.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.6 spg) and C Mark Cisco (8.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg) are the two starters gone from last season’s team, along with key reserve John Daniels (2.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg).

Returning:

61.2 percent of scoring and 57.6 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F Jeff Coby
Fr. G Kendall Jackson
Fr. F-C Luke Petrasek
Fr. F Chris McComber
Fr. C Connor Voss

Schedule Highlights:

The Lions have nine home games in non-league play, and the road portion is not overwhelming. They play at Michigan State in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, before heading across the country to play three games in Portland. They also travel to Bucknell and play St. John’s in the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival at the Barclays Center. The home slate is highlighted by visits from MAAC contender Manhattan and America East contender Stony Brook. Ivy League play has a tough opening after they start with Cornell at home, as the next five are on the road before they come home for four straight.

Projected finish and outlook:

A year after a promising start to what ended up being a disappointing season, the Lions will have a full-fledged youth movement in effect this season. They have just one senior to go with ten freshmen and sophomores, and with Barbour and Cisco being so important to last season’s team, in all the Lions are basically starting over. Mullins, Rosenberg, Frankoski and Lo are good building blocks, while Osetkowski will now get a bigger role along with freshman Conor Voss, a freshman big man. In particular, Osetkowski must emerge as he has the opportunity for a lot of consistent minutes and they need someone to produce inside. The big thing for this year is to see the freshmen and sophomores develop behind the more experienced players, and if that happens the Lions could position themselves for a run next year.

Next: Cornell Big Red

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