2011-12 Men's Basketball Season Preview
SWARTHMORE, Pa. - Last season, the Swarthmore College men's basketball team was a very competitive and extremely young squad that battled every night, but too often came up a little short. In 2011-12, the Garnet returns its three leading scorers and hopes to use last season as a springboard to more success this year.The loss of seniors Ryan Carmichael and Sam Lacy to graduation will certainly be felt, but with the return of four of its top five scorers and a solid incoming freshman class, the Garnet is optimistic about 2011- 2012.
With last year's starting point guard -- junior Jordan Martinez -- studying abroad the first semester, sophomore guard Jordan Federer will be moved to the point. He averaged 8.1 points per game last year and was second on the team in assists (1.8) while starting 17 games at the off-guard spot. Sophomore Jay Kober, who was second in scoring (11.8 ppg) and led the team in freethrow percentage (82%) while starting 19 games, will start at he off-guard spot. Two-time all Centennial performer junior Will Gates will be moved to his natural position of small forward. He was fifth in the conference in scoring (18.3 ppg.) and seventh in rebounding (6.5 rpg) last year. Rounding out the backcourt are senior guards Andrew Greenblatt and Michael Giannangeli, each of who will compete for playing time in the backcourt.
The starters at power forward and center will come from a group of players including Senior Marc Rogalski, junior Eugene Prymak, and sophomores Davis Ancona, Jordan Cheney, and Joe Keedy. Three freshmen, 6-7 Matt Sharma (Lexington, MA), 6-5 Dominic Rizzo (North Caldwell, NJ), and 6-2 Karl Barkley (Davidson, NC) will also be looking to crack the rotation.
Head Coach Lee Wimberly has pinpointed several areas needing improvement next season. "We shot the ball poorly last year (.366) and really struggled inside in terms of scoring, defending, and rebounding. We must improve in these areas if we want to significantly improve our won-loss record again in 2011-2012. It is one thing to be competitive, as we certainly were last year. It is another to win enough games to be a legitimate playoff contender, which we want to be this year."
While the Centennial Conference, will once again be among the premier conferences in the country, the Garnet is hopeful that they can return to the Centennial Conference playoffs in 2012.
2011-12 CENTENNIAL CONFERENCE PRESEASON COACHES' POLL
1- Franklin & Marshall, 159 (15)
2-Muhlenberg, 130 (3 firsts)
3-Dickinson, 128 (two first place votes)
5- McDaniel, 94
8-Washington College, 52
9-Johns Hopkins, 44
10-Swarthmore, 23 pts.