November 11, 2009

2009-10 Men's Basketball Season Preview


The 2009-10 season is poised to be a breakout year for the Bloomsburg University men's basketball team. The Huskies return seven players from a team that started as many as four freshmen a year ago. Those freshmen showed their youth at times but also flashed great skills by combining to win nine Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) East Freshman of the Week awards.

Those young players will be counted on to improve and shoulder a heavy load again this season. "We had the youngest team in the conference last year and going into games we knew our lack of experience was going to be a challenge," said head coach John Sanow. "But our players have worked extremely hard in the offseason in the weight room and on the court and we are ready to show how improved we are."

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Ruben Britt

BACK COURT

The Huskies will look for guidance this year from a trio of guards in captains Ruben Britt, Greg Elliott and Jesse Betar. Britt brings senior leadership and experience to the Bloomsburg lineup. The team's leading scorer a year ago, he is a very good finisher and has the capabilities of being a consistent perimeter threat. "Ruben worked extremely hard this summer to put himself in position to be a great leader for us this year," said Sanow. "He wants to go out a winner and by playing hard every night on both ends of the floor, he'll show our young team what it takes to be successful."

Elliott sat out last year after coming to Bloomsburg from Champlain College-St. Lambert in Montreal, Canada and will be playing as a senior. The Huskies will rely on his perimeter shooting in both the half court offense and in transition and his scoring ability should allow for scoring opportunities for post players.

Like a good point guard, Betar has the ability to make everyone around him better. The sophomore gained valuable experience last year and has also shown his ability to shoot the basketball. He provides the Huskies with vocal leadership and will again be a coach on the floor.

Sophomore Trevon Johnson will bring more scoring to the Huskies back court. Very quick and talented, Johnson was averaging 12.2 points in nine games last season. Along with having the ability to push the ball in transition, the guard is also a very good on-the-ball defender and has great anticipation on the defensive end.

Jordan Wartman, another sophomore, brings hustle and competitiveness to both ends of the floor. A good perimeter shooter, he will do whatever it takes to make plays on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Jamar Smack is a true freshman who looks to battle for playing time at the point guard position. He has shown good ball handling and is capable of hitting shots from the outside.

FRONT COURT

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Larry Webster

Sophomore Larry Webster, who garnered freshman of the week honors five times a year ago, was the Huskies leading rebounder and shot blocker and will again provide a dominant post presence. Nearly averaging a double-double last season, Webster is an explosive athlete and has the ability to change the nature of a game with his playmaking on both ends of the floor.

Fellow sophomore Dan Hoover will also provide physicality down low. An aggressive defender and very good rebounder, Hoover has excellent post moves and a great ability to get to the free throw line.

Earl Knight, a junior, will be playing his first season with the Huskies after sitting out last year after his transfer from Coppin State. One of the hardest workers on the team, Knight is an inside-outside scoring threat who provides the team with tough rebounding. Sophomore Trenton Epps is in his first season with the team after coming to Bloomsburg from Holy Family University. Epps is very strong and versatile, capable of posting up or stepping out to hit a mid-range shot.

Ed Hall and Jesse Walsh are freshmen who will look for playing time in the post for the Huskies this season. Hall is very talented and still working hard at developing his game. He has the ability to post up and hit shots from the perimeter and is capable of playing both forward positions. Walsh is a strong low post player who can also step out and knock down shots from the outside. He is a very hard worker and will battle for playing time at the five spot.

WRAP UP

"We have set our goals high for this year," said Sanow. "We want to win 20 games, win the PSAC East and the PSAC tournament, and capture a spot in the NCAA Division II tournament." In order to accomplish those goals, the Huskies will have to rely on their experiences from last year. "Last year when we went on the road, none of our guys knew what type of environment they would be playing in. The experience they gained playing all of those minutes last year will be invaluable towards this season's success."