October 12, 2012 in Division III
It’s hard to believe, but college basketball season is almost here. This week, we’ll preview Michigan’s eight Division III schools.
At a glance
- Coach: Kevin Vande Streek, 18th season
- Last year: 13-13, 8-6 MIAA
- Conference: Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA)
- Key losses: Brian Haverdink
- Key additions: Eric Jipping (freshman from Plymouth Christian), Jordan Brink (sophomore returning from injury)
- Team website
- Calvin news on BallinMichigan
- Forever Faithful – Calvin sports blog
Calvin was competitive in the MIAA last season and this year, with nearly everyone returning, could make a run at the top of the standings.
The Knights should have a decided advantage up front with two-time All-MIAA forward Tom Snikkers returning. Snikkers led the team in scoring at 14.8 points per game and rebounding at 7.2 per game last season. Junior forward Tyler Kruis, a 6-foot-9 center, is also back after averaging 10.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game last season. The Knights also return eight other players who received playing time last season who are 6-foot-5 or taller, giving them one of the biggest teams in the state.
With that size advantage, Calvin was dominant on the glass last season, out-rebounding opponents by an average of six rebounds per game. It also helped Calvin limit opponents to just 42.9 percent shooting for the season.
UPDATE: An addition from friend of the blog Matt Snyder in the comments:
THE key addition (and a likely help to three point and free throw shooting) is (sophomore eligible) point guard Jordan Brink who missed the entire season due to a shoulder injury.
For a team as big as Calvin, the Knights did not shoot a particularly high percentage, finishing at 44 percent for the season.
They also struggled at the free throw line, shooting just 69 percent as a team. They shot just 33 percent from 3-point range and lose Haverdink to graduation. He led the team in 3-pointers made.
Circle these dates …
- Nov. 6 – Calvin gets to test itself against Division II opponent Ferris State.
- Nov. 23 and 24 – The annual Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame Tournament will give fans a chance to see several great small college programs in the Grand Rapids area. Calvin will play NAIA schools Aquinas and Cornerstone.
- Jan. 6 and Feb. 9 – The annual two games against Hope, one of the best rivalries in all of college basketball, as written about over the summer on BallinMichigan by Calvin alum Matt Snyder.
The top of the MIAA will be as competitive as ever, but Calvin definitely returns enough production to make a run at the league title.
- Key players all return as Adrian looks to build on second place finish
- Alma College has to replace two MIAA All-Conference players
- Albion gets boost from extra returning player
- High-scoring trio returns for Finlandia
- Olivet College returns one of MIAA’s top players
- New coach hopes to lead Kalamazoo out of bottom of MIAA