Season preview: men's basketball
The men’s basketball team will look to improve on last year’s New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) tournament bid as they begin their season November 19 at Brandeis versus Curry College.
After falling to Middlebury in the semifinals of the NESCAC tournament last winter, the Mules will look to advance even further this year behind the strength of captains Christian Van Loenen ’11 and Mike Russell ’11, both of whom, according to head coach Dick Whitmore, “should be among the better players in [the] NESCAC.”
Also returning for Colby will be Gus David ’11, Noah Atlas ’11, David Havlicek ’11, Eric Beaulieu ’12, Kyle Donovan ’12, Ben Foreman ’12, Alex Swanson ’12, Matt Cheever ’12, Burton Gildersleeve ’12, Gordon Fischer ’13 and Nick Rimsa ’13.
Colby lost five players to graduation in 2010, including All-American Adam Choice ’10, the eighth leading scorer in Colby men’s basketball history with 1,534 points. Choice, along with Justin Sherman ’10, Chas Woodward ’10, Gil Haylon ’10 and Tim Concannon ’10, were part of a senior class that accounted for 58 percent of the Colby offense last season. Whitmore recognized that “there is, as always, a big hole to fill.” He added, “players have worked very hard, now it is the job of the coaches to put them in position to win.”
Hoping to contribute to the team’s success will be the many first-year players on the Mules’ roster—Ben Brassord, Jesse Coulon, Ozuma Orchingwa, Forrest Lovett, John Kalin and sophomore transfer Kareem Kalil. Brassord and Lovett, who are both listed at six-foot-six, will look to provide size after the departure of the six-foot-ten Woodward.
Fischer, a six-foot-five forward, expects the team to continue to improve every day. “We’re [going to] try to [play] run-and-gun, uptempo basketball....For the [first-years], it’s about bringing energy and challenging us to play harder.”
After away games versus Curry, Brandeis, Western Connecticut, the University of New England and the University of Maine—Farmington to begin the season, Colby will open up at home December 4 versus Maine Maritime at the Colby Invitational.
Fischer’s hopes for an uptempo style of play should make for an exciting season of basketball. The players want fans at every game, because “the more fans who come, the more dunks you’ll see.”