October 19, 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: John Tharp, sixth season
- Last year: 24-6, 16-3 GLIAC
- Conference: Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC)
- Key losses: Brad Guinane, Tyler Gerber, Brent Eaton
- Key additions: Lucas Grose (freshman from Indiana), Kyle Cooper (freshman from Detroit Catholic Central), Nick Archer (freshman from Ohio), Zach Miller (Northern Illinois transfer)
- Team website
- Team roster
- Hillsdale news on BallinMichigan
Hillsdale is coming off an impressive season, but in order to repeat that success, the team will have to replace its three leading scorers from a year ago.
Much of the focus will be on what the Chargers lose from last season, but Hillsdale does return two starters and a reserve who played a significant role for last year’s team. Nick Washburn averaged 10.3 points per game and was second on the team at 5.1 rebounds per game. Tim Dezelski averaged 8.9 points and 5.0 rebounds in 22 minutes per game off the bench. Brandon Pritzl averaged 8.0 points per game.
Hillsdale will need one or more of those players to emerge from a complementary role into a primary one, but all of them had moments last season when they showed they were capable of doing just that. Washburn had 26 points in a win over Saginaw Valley State. Dizelski had 22 points and 12 rebounds in a loss to Tiffin. Pritzl led the team in rebounding three times. The team also should get an immediate contribution from Miller, a Division I transfer.
Hillsdale is exceptional at home, going 14-1 there overall and 9-0 in GLIAC play. The team also held opponents to just 41 percent shooting for the season.
The weaknesses start at the top, with the losses of Guinane, who is now playing professionally in England, Gerber and Eaton. Combined, those three played 83 minutes per game and averaged 35 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and 3.6 steals per game. Guinane made 44 percent of his 3-pointers and Gerber made 38 percent of his. Hillsdale has enough talent coming back to remain a competitive team, but that’s a significant amount of production from last season that the team will have to find new sources for.
Circle these dates …
- Jan. 3 – Wayne State finished two games behind Hillsdale last season. The team returns a lot of its talent and will definitely be looking for revenge after Hillsdale swept both games last season.
- March 2 – Findlay also finished two games behind Hillsdale last season, but they actually picked up a win against Hillsdale last season. The Chargers will try to hold them off this season.
Until a team proves otherwise, Hillsdale is the top team in the South Division. They’ll figure into the league race this season, but the players they lost make it unclear if they can hold on to the title.
- Northern Michigan hopes transfers can make immediate impact
- Michigan Tech returns reigning GLIAC Player of the Year in quest for league title
- New coach hoping to change the fortunes of Saginaw Valley State
- Northwood has to replace production of Bobby Lewis to repeat last season’s success
- High-scoring Derek Billing returns as centerpiece of Lake Superior State lineup
- Healthy return of Mike Hollingsworth should help Wayne State stay among the best in the GLIAC
- Kenny Brown leads experienced group returning for Ferris State
- Grand Valley State hoping impact transfers make up for loss of top two players from last year