Frontcourt unproven for UW-W men
WHITEWATER--Pat Miller knows this much about his team: His backcourt is set.
The UW-Whitewater men's basketball team returns junior guard Quardell Young—its leading scorer from a year ago—and four senior guards with plenty of experience.
It's the post positions where Miller has some sorting out to do.
“The question mark for us is going to be our front line,” Miller said. “Miles Chamberlain is coming off his injury. Reggie Hearn obviously going to a bigger role than he had last year. The loss of Luke Knoble, loss of Darnell Harris, is going to create some opportunities from people.
“So we're going to be smaller this year. How that front line can hold up against physical teams and how well we rebound I think will determine how successful this team can be.”
The Warhawks, who won the NCAA Division III national championship in 2012, are coming off a season where they reached the second round of the NCAA tournament.
They open their season on Saturday at Carroll University. That's when the feeling-out process will begin in earnest.
The Warhawks have just one player that stands 6-foot-8 or taller, junior forward Pat Zemanovic. Senior forward Reggie Hearn, who was troubled by injuries last season, is healthy and expected to be a major contributor. Others who will compete for open opportunities are 6-foot-6 junior Steve Egan and 6-5 sophomore Jack Herum.
“I see a lot of progression,” Young said. “Last year, Reggie Hearn pretty much had one shoulder. Now he's using more of his opposite shoulder and using his left hand. I could see that helping us in the post. It's just developing as we go.”
Young has no issue being the go-to scorer on offense. He averaged 11.9 points per game last season.
“If I do score, it'll open up more opportunities for my teammates, as well,” he said. “I've always thought of myself as a pass-first guard. I'm not really selfish, and I look for my teammates.
“If I can drive and find a seam and get their guy to help off and get them open shots … I'm going to try to use (that).”
He'll have help around him.
Elkhorn product Eric Bryson is the second-leading returner at 10.1 points per game and isn't afraid to rebound.
Alex Merg and Beloit product K.J. Evans averaged 42 minutes per game last year and bring leadership, and Cody Odegaard is coming off an injury feeling better about his shot.
“I know our guards are solid; I know what we're going to get from them,” Miller said. “I know our front line is really untested. How well they hold up and how we team rebound is going to do a lot to determine how successful we are.”
Alex Merg, sr., g, Greendale; Patrick Souter, sr., g, Racine; Brian Roedl, fr., g, Malad, Idaho; Quardell Young, jr., g, Kenosha; Cody Odegaard, sr., g, Poynette; Giovanni Bray, so., g, Milwaukee; K.J. Evans, jr., g, Beloit; Reggie Hearn, sr., f, Milwaukee; Eric Bryson, sr., g, Elkhorn; Terrence Bradley, jr., f, Milwaukee; Andrew Bryson, fr., g, Elkhorn; Miles Chamberlain, jr., g, Madison; Jack Herum, so., f, River Falls; Dylan Graf, so., g, Racine; Steve Egan, jr., f, Omro; Ronald Patten, so., f, Whitefish Bay; Alex LeGault, so., f, Green Bay; Clay Stevens, fr., g, Racine; Pat Zemanovic, jr., f, Kettle Moraine; Charlie Fischer, jr., g, Hartland.
UW-WHITEWATER SCHEDULE (Home games in bold)
16—Carroll University, 7 p.m.; 18—Concordia (Wis.), 7 p.m.; 22—Hope College, 7 p.m.; 26—St. Norbert, 7 p.m.
3—Beloit College, 7 p.m.; 7—UW-Stout, 3 p.m.; 11—UW-Stevens Point, 7 p.m.; 16—Alma College, 7 p.m.; 20—TBD at Cruzin' Classic, at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; 21—TBD at Cruzin' Classic at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; 30—Edgewood College, 7 p.m.
4—UW-River Falls, 7 p.m.; 8—UW-Oshkosh, 7 p.m.; 11—UW-Eau Claire, 7 p.m.; 15—UW-Platteville, 7 p.m.; 18—UW-Superior, 3 p.m.; 22—UW-La Crosse, 7 p.m.; 25—UW-River Falls, 7 p.m.; 29—UW-Platteville, 7 p.m.
1—UW-Stout, 7 p.m.; 5—UW-Stevens Point, 7 p.m.; 8—UW-Superior, 3 p.m.; 12—UW-La Crosse, 7 p.m.; 15—UW-Oshkosh, 7 p.m.; 22—UW-Eau Claire, 7 p.m.