I’ll look at the men’s teams today, and here’s my article on Friends guard Chris Jackson. This weekend, I’ll look at the women’s teams.
And here’s a complete KCAC schedule.
As always, enjoy.
FRIENDS (2009-10: 25-7 overall, 17-1 KCAC, 1st)
Coach: Dale Faber, 8th year
Go-to: Chris Jackson, Sr., 6-3, Sr.
Outlook: Jackson, a Wichita Southeast and Barton Community College product, was an honorable mention All-American last year and if teammate Romar Jones hadn’t been the KCAC Player of the Year, it woulda been CJ. Maybe should He’s an exciting player that, in my mind, is definitely the frontrunner for KCAC POY honors this year. A lot depends on forward Mike Hyde making it out of football season unhurt, and I wouldn’t put too much stake in the Falcons being the preseason pick to win the conference. This league, this year, is up for grabs. Oh, and head coach Dale Faber lost 200 pounds in the offseason. Just had to put that out there. Amazing. Oh, and Seward County Community College transfer Drew Jones should help with their outside shooting. He played on the Saints’ Region VI title team as a freshman and was away from basketball last year.
MCPHERSON (20-9, 13-5 2nd)
Coach: Tim Swartzendruber, 3rd year
Go-to: D’onte Woods, R-Freshman, 6-3, guard
Outlook: It’s amazing what Swartzendruber did in his first two years at McPherson, and even he’ll admit that a lot of that had to do with bringing some of his best players from Hesston College over with him two years ago. That being said, the Bulldogs have looked sharp in preseason, beating Garden City Community College by 28 in a controlled scrimmage last week. Swartzendruber thinks redshirt freshman D’onte Woods could be special.
BETHANY (18-13, 12-6 3rd)
Coach: Clair Oleen, 18th year
Go-to:Vince Ferguson, Sr., 6-5, forward (1st half of season)/Clayton Goggins, Jr., 5-8, guard (2nd half of season)
Outlook: The Swedes are dealing with some heavy stuff right now with the death of senior guard and team captain Manuel Honeycutt last Saturday. They’ll only have forward Vince Ferguson for the first half of the season b/c of eligibility issues, i.e. his will have run out, and will need junior Clayton Goggins to step it up in the second half. I like sophomore guard Jack Sadowy to pick up the slack left by Rodd Williams and CJ Littlejohn in the Bethany backcourt, but not all of the slack. That was a lot of production on a team that made a run all the way to the KCAC title game.
KANSAS WESLEYAN (12-16, 9-9 4th)
Coach: Mike Davert, 4th year
Go-to: Matt Dickman, Sr., 6-0, guard
Outlook: Six-foot senior guard Matt Dickman led the Coyotes in scoring last year at 12.8 points. Coach Mike Davert called last year’s 18-13 record and fourth-place finish “disappointing.”
SAINT MARY (17-14, 8-10 t-5th)
Coach: Jon Bishop, 3rd year
Go-to: Jeb Greenberg, Soph., 6-2, guard
Outlook: The Spires lost second-team All-American Eric Avant (20.5 points, 8.2 rebounds), who transferred to NCAA Division II East Central University after playing one season in Leavenworth. That’s just too much talent out the door too soon.
SOUTHWESTERN (11-18, 8-10 t-5th)
Coach: Matt O’Brien, 2nd year
Go-to: David King, Sr., 6-11, C
Outlook: Former Wichita State center and Maize product David King returns after missing all of last year with a knee injury. King (6-foot-11) was an honorable-mention All-American in 2008-09. Second-year coach and former Friends assistant Matt O’Brien brings in five junior-college transfers. Another fact on King, and how long he’s been in college: He played on Wichita State’s Sweet 16 team in 2005-2006.
STERLING(11-18, 8-10 t-5th)
Coach: Dean Jaderston, 5th year
Go-to: Zach Goodrich, Sr., 5-7, guard
Outlook: Senior guard Zach Goodrich (17.2 points, 4.5 assists, 2 steals) is already one of Sterling’s all-time best and a two-time All-KCAC selection, but wore down at the end of last season because the Warriors’ lack of depth gave him little time for breaks. Sterling should be solid in the front court with returners in 6-8 senior Kenny McGrath and 6-6 junior Cody Brazelton.
TABOR (10-18, 7-11 8th)
Coach: Micah Ratzlaff, 4th year
Go-to: Damon Dechant, Sr., 6-6, forward
Outlook: Goddard product Ryan Chippeaux, a 6-7 forward, was an All-KCAC freshman pick last season along with teammate Lawson Kingsley. Both should complement the Bluejays’ best player, 6-6 senior forward Damon Dechant (15.1 points, 7.3 rebounds), a two-time All-KCAC pick. I know the Bluejays are picked low, but on paper it seems like they have a lot of talent. But what do I know, right?
BETHEL (7-22, 4-14 t-9th)
Coach: Mark Yoder, 4th year
Go-to: Matt Regier, Sr., 6-5, forward
Outlook: The Threshers return their top two post players in 6-foot-5 forward Matt Regier and 6-8 center Justin Schneider, but need to establish a perimeter threat in order to be competitive. Bethel did not put a player in the league’s top 20 in scoring last season.
OTTAWA (6-23, 4-14 t-9th)
Coach: Andy Carrier, 21st year
Go-to: Corey Smith, Soph., 6-6, forward
Outlook: The Braves have the toughest preseason schedule in the league, taking on UMKC and Emporia State. Ottawa has struggled to replace talent off a national tournament team from two years ago and finished 6-23 last season, one of the worst years in coach Andy Carrier’s 21 seasons. Smith averaged just over 10 points per game last season.
Did I miss something? Let me know. -TA