Men’s Basketball Has High Hopes

Jake Miller

As the Yeomen get set to tip off their season, expectations for the team are high.

With the addition of five first-years this season, the team will have a lot of depth alongside another five sophomores, three juniors and four seniors.

Six-foot-nine sophomore center Randy Ollie looks poised to step up for the Yeomen this season. Last season, Ollie averaged 25.5 minutes and 7.5 points per game and finished the season averaging 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks a game. He also ranked fifth in the conference with 33 blocked shots for the year. His best performance of the season came against the Allegheny College Gators, when he scored a season high 19 points to go along with six rebounds.

“I expect a successful season,” Ollie said. “Finishing in the top half of the North Coast Athletic Conference and making the conference tournament are two things we as a team expect to do.”

The team knows this goal is a lofty one, but they think they have the talent to achieve it.

“I think the expectations for this season are what it is for us every season: to win a conference title and to get into the NCAA Tournament. I don’t ever lower our expectations, because our talent level is limitless for Division III basketball,” said sophomore Matthew Walker.

Hopes are especially high for junior guard Miles Gueno, who said he wants the team “to be a top-five seed in the conference tournament” and be more “consistent across the board.”

As for the incoming first-years, the Yeomen will look to Nathan Cohen, Zach Moo Young, Scott Miller, Zach Meyers and Jack Poyle to step up for the team to help achieve their goals.

“The upcoming freshmen are all very talented, so much so that it will be hard for the coaches to decide who plays. I expect most of them to play important roles in our upcoming season,” Ollie said.

“The freshmen that we have are nasty. I think they play incredibly hard and truly are busting their butts to not let our team down. They all have tremendous talent and a good understanding of how the game should be played. I think with experience, their class should definitely be remembered,” Walker added.

The Yeomen know that in order to be successful, they will have to rely on more than individual players. Fortunately, they believe this year’s team will play well together.

“I think our biggest strength as a team is chemistry. Everybody gets along and enjoys playing one another. The next step for us as a team is to find ways to utilize our good team chemistry on the court so we can be more successful,” said Ollie.

The Yeomen will also be looking to capitalize on what they believe is a solid defensive core.

“Our strengths are definitely on the defensive end. Our defensive principles with the match-up zone really confuses a lot of teams,” said Gueno.

With high expectations, the Yeomen will look to improve on last year’s 7–18 record.

The team’s first game is at home this Sunday at 3 p.m. against the Muskingum University Fighting Muskies.