BEREA - Let the post-Davis era begin.
For the first time in seven years, Baldwin-Wallace`s men`s basketball team will be without a player named Davis.
The Yellow Jackets were blessed with the Davis brothers - Thad and Tori - for six years. The Open Door graduates led coach Steve Bankson`s teams to some memorable accomplishments.
Thad starred from 2001-2005 and was joined by younger brother Tori for his junior and senior seasons. Tori continued for two more years, graduating in the spring of 2007.
While Thad was named Ohio Athletic Conference player of the year once, Tori one-upped him, earning OAC player of the year honors twice. In addition, Tori twice was named NCAA Division III player of the year. Tori also is the
B-W career leader in 14 of 48 individual statistics.
"Thad and Tori were definitely franchise players," said Bankson. "We had an 81-31 record during Tori`s four years."
Small and inexperienced best describe Baldwin-Wallace`s team for the 2007-08 season. Five of the team`s top 13 players are freshmen, and its tallest player is 6-foot-6 junior Andrew Bene.
"Obviously, we need to regroup," said Bankson, who begins his 28th season at Baldwin-Wallace. "We`re going to try to play up-tempo, at least at the start of the season. We`ll adapt our offense and defense to fit our personnel. We need to get ready to go again."
Bankson calls three-year starter Brendan Schuler, a Fairview High graduate, the team`s best shooter both from the field and at the free throw line. He averaged 13 points per game, had 39 steals and had a team-high 146 assists last season.
Two-year starter Tyler Sekerak is touted to be the team`s best on-ball defensive player. He had 22 steals and 60 assists in 2006-07.
Elyria High graduate Louis Tumblin and Midpark graduate Dennis Santiago will continue to see plenty of playing time. Santiago averaged 10.8 points per game and made 44.3 percent of his 3-point attempts last season, making 43 of his shots from behind the arc.
"Louie is a slasher, while Santiago helps us on the perimeter," said Bankson. "Both of them are very capable shooters when they are having a good game."
Bene is being counted upon to lead the Jackets` rebounders, taking the place of Tori Davis. He averaged 5.3 rebounds per game and contributed 6.9 points per game last season.
Strongsville graduate Kyle Brown, who transferred to Baldwin-Wallace from Hillsdale College in Michigan, appears to have the best shot at the power forward position.
Freshman Jake Cayton probably will see quite a bit of action at point guard after being a prolific scorer in high school. Bankson calls Medina graduate Paul Glass a hard worker, who will help out at the small forward position.
Freshmen Kyle Rockwell and Jeff Cannon, whose brother Jake plays for Ohio Northern, are being counted upon as back-ups at the forward positions.
"We`ll have to go with what size we have and hope to hang in there in rebounding," said Bankson. "We`re young, small and inexperienced. That`s a tough combination to deal with. Returning some good personnel on the perimeter is a plus."
The Yellow Jackets open their season this weekend at the Penn State (Pa.) Behrend Tournament, playing Fredonia State (NY) on Saturday and either the host team or Bridgewater (Mass.) on Sunday.
BEREA - Baldwin-Wallace women`s basketball coach Cheri Harrer wasn`t overly satisfied with last season`s team.
The Yellow Jackets finished with a 19-7 overall record and were 13-5 against Ohio Athletic Conference foes. Still, Harrer would like to see them return to the OAC`s elite.
"We`re excited to get going again," said Harrer. "We rely on our returning players to lead but also count on our freshmen to contribute when necessary. We need to establish ourselves defensively. This year`s team has the potential to be very competitive, if we only continue to improve each and every day."
Harrer, in her 18th year, has a 347-126 record and has led the Jackets to 12 straight seasons of at least 18 wins. In addition, her teams have won six OAC regular season championships and four OAC tournament titles in the last nine seasons.
Harrer has 12 returning letter winners, including six who saw considerable playing time. Seven players return who played in 20 or more games, and three starters are back.
Rachael Quiring, a Brunswick High graduate, figures to be the starting point guard and will be joined by Amanda Mondrach (Holy Name) at shooting guard.
Quiring led the team with 62 assists, averaged 5.0 points per game, made 12 3-pointers and had 23 steals last season. Mondrach averaged 9.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game, while leading the team with 24
Last season`s leading scorer, Carly Flowers, currently is hurt, leaving her status up in the air. She scored 11.2 points per game, grabbed 4.9 rebounds, shot 53.5 percent from the floor, had 51 assists and had a team-high 51 steals last year.
Stacia Shrider, Ariel Brough and Buckeye graduate Serena Farage are expected to be a part of Harrer`s rotation. Brough, a sophomore center, is the team`s tallest player at
Firelands graduate Ali Stack looks to help out as a guard, as do twins Courtney and Carrie Ritzler.
Amherst Steele graduates Jessica Diaz and Sasha Samara are vying for playing time at forward, while Addie Mental (Olmsted Falls) is at guard.
"It will be interesting to see who steps up to lead us," said Harrer. "We`re going to be a balanced team, playing a lot of up-tempo basketball."
The Yellow Jackets open their season on Friday at the Anderson (Ind.) Tipoff tournament against Alma (Mich.) and play either the host team or Marian (Wisc.) on Saturday.
Contact Jerry Henson at 329-7137 or email@example.com.Â