American Eagles (10-20 overall, 5-9 league)
Projected starting five:
Jr. G Darius Gardner
Jr. G John Schoof
Jr. G Austin Carroll
Sr. C Tony Wroblicky
Sr. F Kevin Panzer
Three starters are gone from last season’s team: G Daniel Munoz (10.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.6 apg), G Blake Jolivette (6.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.8 apg) and F Stephen Lumpkins (14.2 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 1.5 apg), as well as part-time starting F Mike Bersch (4.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg).
42.8 percent of scoring and 51 percent of rebounding
Jr. G Darius Gardner (transfer from Stephen F. Austin)
Fr. G-F Charlie Jones
Fr. G Kade Kager
Fr. G Justice Montgomery
Fr. G Langdon Neal
Sr. F Kevin Panzer (transfer from Nevada)
Fr. G Jalen Rhea
Fr. F Yilret Yiljep
The non-league slate isn’t overwhelming, but it does have only three home games. They open at George Mason and later play at Ohio State, Northeast contender Mount St. Mary’s and St. Mary’s. Patriot League play will be tough at first as four of their first five are on the road, with four of the next five coming at home.
Projected finish and outlook:
The Eagles will be very much in transition this season, as they suffered fairly heavy personnel losses to go with Jeff Jones’ departure for Old Dominion. New head coach Mike Brennan has some talent on his team, starting with Gardner, who should make an instant impact after leading Stephen F. Austin in assists two seasons ago. Schoof, who made just over half of his three-point attempts last season, and Carroll give him two good options to get the ball to on the perimeter, and there are several other good candidates to join them. Panzer should likewise make an instant impact up front and help Wroblicky, who did a fine job of complementing Lumpkins last season. The Eagles are mainly short on experience and roster continuity, but those will come. While the Eagles lost a lot of scoring, they weren’t a particularly great offensive team last season to begin with. But they can’t afford to repeat being next-to-last in field goal percentage defense given the lack of proven scoring.