October 17, 2012 in Division II
It’s hard to believe, but college basketball season is almost here. This week, we’ll preview Michigan’s nine Division II schools.
At a glance
- Coach: Randy Baruth, first season
- Last year: 10-16, 6-13 GLIAC
- Conference: Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC)
- Key losses: Eli Redman, Sean Romsek, George Goodman
- Key additions: Kalen Foreman (Gillette College transfer), Stone Beckwith (freshman from Beal City), Damon Bozeman (freshman from Madison Heights Madison), Sterling Johnson (freshman from Warren De La Salle), Brady Watson (freshman from Saginaw Heritage)
- Team website
- Team roster
- SVSU news on BallinMichigan
With a new coach, top scorers returning and a promising recruiting class, Saginaw Valley State tries to move up in the GLIAC standings.
SVSU didn’t have a great season in 2011-12, but the Cardinals do return four key players who have starting experience, including leading scorer Chris Webb. Webb averaged 14.2 points per game last season as a junior.
Joining him will be Greg Foster, who was second on the team at 12.1 points per game and led the team in assists at 4.5 per game and rebounds at 5.6 per game. Michael Fugate averaged 8.1 points per game and shot 42 percent from 3-point range and Brett Beland averaged 7.9 points per game.
That core will be joined by Patrick O’Brien, who returns after missing last season due to injury, as well as redshirt freshmen Vince Adams, Kellen Smith and Brandon Havercamp. Foreman, a transfer, could also make an immediate impact.
The Cardinals weren’t a strong rebounding team last season (out-rebounded by nearly four per game by opponents), and they lose one of their top rebounders, Redman. O’Brien, an undersized but tough forward could provide some help on the glass and the team will have some size on the roster, so improving in as a team on the boards should be feasible.
SVSU also shot poorly as a team from the perimeter, making just 29 percent of their threes. Getting that number up will help create better driving lanes for their slashers and room to operate for their big men.
The Cardinals were pretty good at home last season (8-5), but have to get better on the road after finishing just 1-11 if they’re going to improve overall in the GLIAC.
Circle these dates …
- Nov. 5 – SVSU gets to scrimmage Big Ten opponent Michigan.
- Jan. 17 – A loss late last season at last place Northern Michigan prevented SVSU from finishing the season up one spot in the standings. They’ll get another chance in the U.P. in January.
- Feb. 2 and March 2 – SVSU lost to fellow Great Lakes Bay area team Northwood twice last season, including a triple overtime game. With Northwood needing to replace some key players, the Cardinals will get two more chances to make this into a great regional rivalry.
SVSU might be a year away from competing with the top teams for the league title, but they’re definitely a program headed in the right direction and should be improved this season.
- Northern Michigan hopes transfers can make immediate impact
- Michigan Tech returns reigning GLIAC Player of the Year in quest for league title