The Eagle's men's basketball team hits the road to kick off their 2016-2017 campaign on Tuesday, November 15. The Eagles will travel to Lincoln, NE, to match up with Union College. A challenging schedule awaits a new team with a healthy mix of returners and newcomers.
Offensively, the Eagles will have to find a way to replace nearly 70% of their offense from a year ago with the departure of All American Aaron Leistikow, post John Acree, and guard Cody Chaffin. The Eagles will look to a duo of former team MVP's to replace that scoring threat, led by senior Jon Luke Talton. Talton average 15.6 ppg last year and will be expected to meet or exceed those totals this season. Re-joining the team after a year off is 2014-2015 team MVP Ryan Kupferschmid. Ryan averaged 12.9 ppg and shot 41% from behind the arc during the Eagles record setting campaign. Also returning from the 2014-2015 season is leading scorer Josh Bray. Bray led the team with 16.1 ppg and also shot well from behind the arc at 40%.
Jason Scheps, Joey Young, Cole Glanzer, David Levy, and Chase Clark return for the Eagles from last year. Senior Jason Scheps brings a wealth of experience to the team and will anchor the post position for the Eagles along with Chase Clark and newcomer Jackson Clark. Young, Glanzer, and Levy will all bring excellent work ethic and hustle to the guard position for the Eagles.
Joining the Eagles this year are sophomore Michael Yates and freshmen Ronald Murray, Harrison Wilkes, and Caleb Brace. Brace and Yates will deepen the Eagles at both the post and guard positions, while Murray and Wilkes will provide depth at the wing.
"I'm excited to work with these young men. They have shown excellent work ethic and attitudes as we've begun the season. I am confident that while we may not be the most talented team on the court every game, we do have the potential to be one of the hardest working teams I've had the opportunity to coach and I'm looking forward to that," noted coach Fincham. "With seven of the guys not able to join us until after the soccer season, it may take us a bit to get our on the court chemistry, but I believe there's some good potential for us to see success on and off the court once we've had some time together."
The Eagles will have just five practices together as a full squad before jumping into games. Highlighting their first semester are games with NCCAA 1 Ecclesia College and AFLBS at the annual Faith Classic tournament. The Eagles will get an early look at the region when they face off against Oak Hills Christian, Providence University College, and Maranatha Baptist University the first two weekends in December.