2012-13 Division II Basketball Preview: Northwood returns several key players from last year’s standout team

October 18, 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.

By Patrick Hayes

At a glance

Overview

Coming off an 18-9 season, Northwood loses some key talent, but also should remain one of the contenders for the GLIAC North title.

Strengths

Northwood returns six of its top seven leading scorers from last season, including Wes Wilcox and Andrew VanDierenDonck, who averaged 9.4 and 9.3 points per game respectively. Wilcox also led the team in rebounding at 6.1 per game and both players are reliable 3-point shooters, each hitting 36 percent from beyond the arc.

Also returning are Darvin Ham, a key reserve who was four on the team in scoring at 8.4 points per game despite not starting a game, Booker Stoudmire (8.0 points per game, 18 starts), Cameron Joyce (6.9 points per game, 27 starts) and Robertas Grabauskas (6.7 points per game, 19 starts).

Northwood was a great shooting team last year, making 36 percent of their threes as a unit, and strong on the boards, out-rebounding opponents by nearly seven per game.

Weaknesses

The obvious huge loss for Northwood is leading scorer, do-everything guard Bobby Lewis. Lewis averaged 16.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game while shooting 48 percent and 37 percent from three. He was one of the top players in the GLIAC and a fantastic defensive player who will be tough to replace.

Beyond the individual loss of Lewis, Northwood could improve in a couple of key areas. Despite being a good shooting team, the Timberwolves only hit 66 percent of their free throws. They were also a bit turnover prone, averaging nearly 13 per game while forcing opponents into only 10 per game.

Circle these dates …

  • Jan. 17 – Ferris State beat Northwood twice last season. Northwood’s first shot at revenge is in January.
  • Jan. 28 – An improved Saginaw Valley State team could give the Great Lakes Bay region a great rivarly.
  • Feb. 21 – Northwood closed last season with two straight road losses, to Wayne State and Michigan Tech, which would’ve given the Timberwolves first place in the GLIAC North all alone. They’ll get another chance to beat Tech on the road in February.

Outlook

The loss of Lewis will be huge, but Northwood has significant talent coming back and should remain in the GLIAC North title picture.

Previously


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