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Men’s Basketball has high hopes for season’s hoops

November 12, 2010

The Monmouth College men’s basketball team has more than a handful to pick from this year.

With 30 team members at camp, coach Mark Vershaw has a good mix of returners and new members on the team. The team is an older and more experienced group.

According to a press release by Dan Nolan, “The Fighting Scots’ roster will be laden with upperclassmen, but not much on experience. Only six returning players from last year’s squad saw significant playing time. The addition of more than 20 newcomers could help the Scots reverse last season’s 5-18 record.”

Senior Corey Gruber and Junior Curtis Oler are the captains for the men’s team this year.

“We have very solid leadership with Gruber and Oler,” said Vershaw of his co-captains in a press release. “Overall, the sense of urgency and the need to come together quickly is much greater with this group than in past years. We’ve seen that in practice and it’s been a positive thing. The team is much more interested in getting to the point where we can be successful as a team. You have that from our leaders, our returners and the new guys. We went through some growing pains last year. There is a better sense of the need to get it done this season.”

  “There are a lot of new players this year. Coach brought in a lot of transfer students. A lot of guys from last year’s team decided not to play this year,” said senior captain Corey Gruber.

Their first game will be  Monday Nov. 15, at Central College in Pella, Iowa.

 “This group has been fun to work with; they have displayed great attitudes and a positive work ethic at this point of the season.  We are looking forward to watching these attributes carry over to our games this season,” said Vershaw.

The starting line-up includes: point guard Corey Gruber, shooting guard/small forward Mike DeDecker, center Wes Dukeman, shooting/small forward Curt Oler, shooting guard/point guard Brice Donaldson, Cory Bishop and Jake Willis.

“Practice is much more physical with them, and 3 or 4 other guys fighting for rotation and other football player will be in too. Coach Vershaw leaves it open till a few days before the game to who will play based on practice,” said Gruber.

The team hopes for a successful year.

“We hope to be in the top four of the conference. Our ultimate goal is to win conference this year. We have a lot of new guys so we might start out slower than we would like but it’ll come together and when it does it should be a fun year,” said Gruber. “The season looks promising right now. Practices are going well and we just added a few more guys to roster that came over from football. Hopefully we’ll be able to contend for a conference title like we should have been doing for the past 3 years.”

The Fighting Scots play their first home game Tuesday, Nov. 23rd, at 7:30 p.m. against Illinois Wesleyan University.

“I would like to see more support, I know it is our fault we do not win more but if there was more support it would definitely help us.” Gruber added, “It will also push us to play harder when you know the school is behind you and care if you win or not.”

Co-Sports Editor

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