October 1, 2012 in NAIA
At a glance
- Coach: Dave Sichterman, eighth season
- Last year: 12-18
- Conference: Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC)
- Key losses: Marcus Hopkins, Chris Sinagoga, Omar Thomas, Michael Jackson
- Key additions: Keith Paris (Macomb Community College transfer), Ali Berry (freshman from Fordson), Jake Daniels (freshman from West Bloomfield), Corey Dunaj (freshman from Warren Cousino), Darren Kapustka (freshman from Northview), Hassan Nizam (freshman from Fordson), Jermaine O’Bryant (freshman from Madison Heights Madison), Ben Stull (freshman from Warren Cousino), Diante Taylor (freshman from Battle Creek Central), Manny Washington (freshman from Dearborn Edsel Ford), Jerome Wheeler (freshman from Detroit Renaissance), Joe Zannetti (freshman from Warren Woods Tower)
- Team roster
- Team website
- Marygrove news on BallinMichigan
The Marygrove basketball team starts life in a new conference as it moves to the WHAC, but the team has the benefit of doing so with returning leading scorer Darryl Dixon. Dixon, a junior, averaged 15.8 points per game last season in about 34 minutes per game. He shot 38 percent from the field and 33 percent from 3-point range. Dixon also led the team in assists at 3.4 per game.
Marygrove comes into the WHAC already familiar with the opponents. The Mustangs were 3-4 last season against WHAC opponents, including wins over the bottom three teams in the conference — Siena Heights, Northwestern Ohio and University of Michigan-Dearborn.
Along with Dixon, the backcourt will also be bolstered by JUCO transfer Paris, a good all-around player who averaged 8.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game last season in a very strong MCCAA Eastern Conference.
Marygrove also should be helped by the fact that they routinely play a tough schedule. Last season, the team faced a host of Division II opponents from the GLIAC. This season, they’ll play Division I opponents Western Michigan and Youngstown State.
The fact that Marygrove has a JV team should also help. Not only can the Mustangs add players from last year’s roster who gained college experience, they can develop players from their large recruiting class this year who might not get minutes immediately on the varsity team.
Size. The Mustangs return one big man, Kevin Dunaj, who played significant minutes last season. Dunaj, who is 6-foot-7, averaged 4.9 points per game and started 13 games. None of the other returning players are taller than 6-foot-5 and the WHAC is a conference where Marygrove will run into some teams with talented big men.
Circle these dates …
- Nov. 13 – Marygrove tests itself against Division I Western Michigan.
- Nov. 17 – The Mustings travel to Davenport for their first WHAC game. Davenport beat Marygrove last season, 96-70.
- Nov. 28 – Marygrove plays Lawrence Tech, the other team that is new to the WHAC this season.
- Dec. 29 – Marygrove’s second game against Division I competition as the team travels to Youngstown State.
Marygrove should immediately be competitive in the WHAC. Last season’s results suggest the Mustangs might not be ready to challenge the league’s upper-echelon, but a finish in the middle of the pack isn’t unrealistic.