October 3, 2012 in NAIA
At a glance
- Coach: Dave Hammer
- Last year: 15-16, 11-7 WHAC
- Conference: Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC)
- Key losses: Jake Shockey, Joe Powers
- Key additions: Zac VanBeek (freshman from Zeeland East), Charles Hayden (freshman from Oakland Christian)
- Team roster
- Team website
- Aquinas news on BallinMichigan
Aquinas revamped its roster last season and managed to be competitive in the WHAC all season. This season, the Saints get to try and take the next step with several key players from that roster returning.
Although the team loses its top scorer, Aquinas does return four players who started for them last season and a handful of others who played significant minutes.
The Saints were strong on the boards last season, out-rebounding their opponents 1,111-956 on the season, and they return Zach Eddy, who led that effort at 8.7 rebounds per game.
The team defends well overall, limiting opponents to just 41 percent shooting last season.
Aquinas did pick up wins last season against two of the teams that finished directly in front of them in the standings, Madonna and Indiana Tech, and they were competitive in games against the top two in the league, Davenport and Cornerstone.
Davenport turned the ball over a lot last season, 426 times compared to just 326 times by their opponents. For a team that played a lot of close games, turnovers could’ve been the difference in picking up an extra win or two.
The team also needs to avoid the long losing streaks that they experienced early last season. The Saints lost four straight in November and then again in December. For a team that finished the season a strong 10-6, a better start could’ve pushed Aquinas up in the standings a bit.
Circle these dates …
- Nov. 20 – Aquinas will get a good test early, facing Indiana Tech, a team that finished one game ahead of them in the standings. Indiana Tech won two of three meetings last season, but the average margin of victory was just over four points per game.
- Nov. 23 and 24 – The team plays in the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame Tournament, a great chance to see the great small college basketball scene in the Grand Rapids area.
- Jan. 2 and 5 – Aquinas will likely find out whether the team is a contender for the league title or not after back-to-back games against Cornerstone and Davenport.
With two more teams joining the league, Aquinas should once again find itself near the top of the standings. Losing Shockey and Powers makes contending for that league title a difficult proposition, but the team’s defense and rebounding should keep them in games against anyone.
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