Men's basketball

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  • 2014 Iowa Conference tournament champions
  • 2014 Iowa Conference champions
  • 10 NCAA Div. III playoff appearances
  • 17 Iowa Conference championships

Dutch tabbed eighth in league preseason men’s basketball poll

Men's basketball | Nov. 15, 2013

CEDAR RAPIDS—The Central College men’s basketball team has to climb the Iowa Conference ladder rung-by-rung according to league coaches, who tabbed the squad to finish eighth.

The Dutch finished last season with a 10-14 overall record, 3-11 conference mark and tied for sixth place in the league standings. Central returns two starters in guard Kevin Kaerwer (senior, El Paso, Texas, John L. Chapin HS) and forward Matt Greenfield (senior, Huxley, Ballard HS)—last year's leading rebounder (8.3 rpg) and second leading scorer (14.5 ppg)—and six letterwinners from last year’s squad.

Central opens the 2013-14 campaign at Monmouth (Ill.) Friday at 7 p.m.

Preview by Josh Schroeder, Iowa Conference director of information:

The University of Dubuque, which won the 2013 Iowa Conference basketball tournament and advanced to the NCAA Division III Championship, has been named a slim favorite by the coaches to capture the 2013-2014 Iowa Conference title. The Spartans received four of seven possible first-place votes (coaches cannot vote for their own teams), totaling 53 points in the IIAC Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Poll.

Buena Vista University picked up three first-place votes and sits second with 52 points. The Beavers were also picked second on four ballots. Loras College received the remaining first-place vote and edged Luther College for third place by a 40-38 margin. The complete 2013-2014 IIAC Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Poll follows.

Rank    School (1st place votes)  Points    2012-2013 Record
1           Dubuque (4)                         53           22-7, 9-5 IIAC
2           Buena Vista (3)                    52           19-7, 11-3 IIAC
3           Loras (1)                               40            8-17, 3-11 IIAC
4           Luther                                    38           18-8, 11-3 IIAC
5           Wartburg                               33           15-12, 8-6 IIAC
6           Coe                                        26           15-11, 8-6 IIAC
7           Simpson                               23            7-19, 3-11 IIAC
8           Central                                  15           10-14, 3-11 IIAC

Opening Weekend: The 2013-2014 Iowa Conference men’s basketball season begins Friday, November 15 with all but Coe and Luther taking to the hardwood. The Norse and Kohawks open up their regular seasons with home games on Tuesday, November 19.

Nov. 15 Dubuque vs. North Central (Minn.), 4 p.m., at University of Northwestern-St. Paul, Roseville, Minn.
              Loras at Rockford, 7 p.m.
              Central at Monmouth (Ill.), 7 p.m.
              Simpson at Gustavus Adolphus, 7 p.m.
              Buena Vista at Augsburg, 7:30 p.m.
              Crown at Wartburg, 8 p.m. (Buzz Levick Tip-Off Tournament)

Nov. 16 Mount Mercy or Wisconsin-Stout at Wartburg, 2 or 4 p.m. (Buzz Levick Tip-Off Tournament)
              Dubuque at Northwestern (Minn.), 7 p.m.
              Buena Vista at Gustavus Adolphus, 7 p.m.
              Simpson at Augsburg, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 19 Wisconsin-La Crosse at Luther, 7 p.m.
              Cornell at Coe, 7 p.m.
              Wheaton (Ill.) at Loras, 7 p.m.
              Grand View at Simpson, 7 p.m.

The 14-date Iowa Conference schedule begins Wednesday, January 8, with a full slate of four league games.

Preseason Poll: No Iowa Conference school is receiving votes in the D3hoops.com Preseason Poll

Team-By-Team Preview:  A brief preview for each Iowa Conference team follows.

Buena Vista University Beavers
19-7 overall, 11-3 IIAC (co-champion)
Head Coach: Brian VanHaaften (19th season at BVU, 340-130 overall [18 years])
IIAC Titles (last):  11 (2013)
IIAC Tourney Titles (last):  7 (2012)
Starters returning/lost –  4 / 1
Letterwinners returning/lost –  7 / 5
All-IIAC players returning – 1 (Darrow 2nd-13)
Honorable mention returning – 0

Buena Vista returns four starters and seven letterwinners from last season’s 19-7 team that tied for the Iowa Conference title with an 11-3 record.

The Beavers will be led by a trio of perimeter players. Junior wing Cole Darrow, a second-team all-Iowa Conference selection last season, played in all 26 games last season with 22 starts. He ranked second on the team in scoring (11.7 points per game), field goals made (112) and rebounds (133) and fourth in assists (46) and steals (20). Darrow ranked 11th among IIAC players in rebounding and 12th in scoring.

Senior point guard Michael Kaufmann started all 26 games, averaging 4.9 points, 1.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per contest. He brings 215 career assists into 2013-2014. He was 28-of-79 (35.4 percent) from 3-point range and ranked third on the team in both assists (61) and steals (26). Kaufmann ranked ninth among IIAC players in steals (1.0 per game).

Sophomore guard Nick Clark played in 25 games off the bench last season, averaging 7.2 points to rank fifth on the team in scoring. He led the team with 40 steals and was second on the team in 3-pointers made, finishing the year 31 of 98 (.316) from behind the arc. Clark ranked second among Iowa Conference players in steals.

Buena Vista head coach Brian Van Haaften says, “I really like the way our team brings it every single day. They are a close knit group. Just like the last couple of years, we expect the league to be tight down to the last week of the year. It will be fun."

Central College Dutch
10-14 overall, 3-11 IIAC (tie-sixth)
Head Coach: Craig Douma (2nd season at CEN, 10-14 overall [1 year])
IIAC Titles (last):  16 (2010)
IIAC Tourney Titles (last):  1 (2010)
Starters returning/lost –  2 / 3
Letterwinners returning/lost –  6 / 7
All-IIAC players returning – 0
Honorable mention returning – 1 (Greenfield-13)

Central returns two starters and six letterwinners from last season’s 10-14 team that tied for sixth place with a 3-11 league mark. Senior forward Matt Greenfield (Huxley, Ballard HS) started all 24 games last year, finishing the year as Central’s second-leading scorer at 14.5 points per game. He shot 47.5 percent (131 of 276) from the field, 31.6 percent from 3-point range (31-of-98) and 80.6 percent (54-of-67) from the charity stripe while posting team-highs with 198 rebounds and 40 blocked shots. Greenfield also ranked second with 24 steals. Greenfield, who received honorable mention from the IIAC coaches last season, is the top returning scorer and rebounding among Iowa Conference players, ranking fourth overall in both categories. He also ranked second among IIAC players in blocked shots, third in free-throw percentage and ninth in steals (1.0 per game).

Senior guard Kevin Kaerwer (El Paso, Texas, John L. Chapin HS) will the Dutch in the backcourt. Last season, he started 23 of the 24 games he played in, ranking fifth on the team in scoring at 5.5 points per game. Kaerwer pulled down 50 rebounds, dished out 39 assists and had 13 steals while averaging 21.8 minutes per game.

Senior center Spencer Bakerink (Creston) played in 24 games last season with five starts, averaging 11.8 minutes per game. He ranked fourth on the team with 84 rebounds.

Central head coach Craig Douma says, “We look forward to competing in the IIAC and the league definitely looks to be very competitive again this year!”

Coe College Kohawks
15-11 overall, 8-6 IIAC (tie-fourth)
Head Coach: Bryan Martin (2nd season at COE; 15-11 overall [1 year])
IIAC Titles (last):  2 (2012)
IIAC Tourney Titles (last):  0
Starters returning/lost –  2 / 3
Letterwinners returning/lost –  7 / 7
All-IIAC players returning – 1 (Wirth, 12-2nd)
Honorable mention returning – 0

Coe returns two starters and seven letterwinners from last season’s 15-11 squad that tied for fourth in the Iowa Conference with an 8-6 mark. The Kohawks will be led by senior guard Andrew Wirth. Wirth, a second-team all-IIAC pick in 2012 and an honorable mention last season, ranked fourth on the team in scoring at 9.0 points per game. He started all 26 games last season, posting team-highs with 108 assists and 41 steals. Wirth also pulled down 76 rebounds. Wirth ranked second among IIAC players in assist-to-turnover ratio (+1.74) and third in assists and steals.

Junior forward JT Vonderhaar is Coe’s top returning scorer. He averaged 9.1 points and 4.9 rebounds in 26 games (25 starts) with 34 assists, 11 blocked shots and nine assists. Vonderhaar ranked second on the team in rebounds, blocks and free throws (54-of-81, 66.7 percent). Junior guard Max Schmarzo appeared in 25 games off the bench, averaging 6.8 points and 1.9 rebounds in just 12.9 minutes per game. He was the Kohawks’ top 3-point shooter with a team-high 48 made threes on 45.7 percent (48-of-105) shooting from behind the arc. Schmarzo also pulled down 48 rebounds, dished out 11 assists and made five steals. He posted the top 3-point field goal percentage among IIAC players.

Coe head coach Bryan Martin says, “We have a lot of new faces this year but I like our depth. I expect another very competitive and balanced league race with UD, BV, and Loras as my preseason favorites.”

University of Dubuque Spartans
22-7 overall, 9-5 (third; IIAC Tournament champion)
Head Coach: Robbie Sieverding (7th season at DBQ; 102-60 overall [6 years])
IIAC Titles (last):  7 (1990)
IIAC Tourney Titles (last):  1 (2013)
Starters returning/lost –  2 / 3
Letterwinners returning/lost –  10 / 5
All-IIAC players returning – 3 (Frazier 1st-13, Michaelis 2nd-13, Norris 2nd-13)
Honorable mention returning – 0

Dubuque returns two starters and 10 letterwinners from last year’s 22-7 team that finished third in the league with a 9-5 mark, won the Iowa Conference tournament, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in program history. The Spartans return their top three scorers from last season, including a pair who averaged double-digits. Senior shooting guard Chris Frazier started all 27 games he played in and averaged a team-high 13.8 points per game while shooting nearly 50 percent (129-of-259; 49.8 percent) from the field. A first-team all-conference pick last season, he was the team’s top 3-point shooter, draining 75 of 168 attempts (44.6 percent) from behind the arc, and ranked fifth on the team with 97 rebounds (3.6 rpg) and 20 steals (0.7 spg) while averaging a team-high 32.7 minutes per contest. Frazier ranked second among IIAC players in 3-point shooting and sixth in scoring.

After entering each of the past two seasons as the squad’s top returning scorer, senior small forward Mitch Michaelis ranked second on last year’s UD team averaging 11.0 points per game. He was 97-of-257 from the field, including 20-of-91 from long range, while draining a team-high 82 free throws (out of 102; 80.4 percent). Michaelis pulled down 83 boards, dished out 56 assists and had a team-high 30 steals. He ranked fourth among IIAC players in free-throw percentage and eighth in steals.

Sophomore power forward Andre Norris just missed averaging double-digits after scoring at a 9.9 point-per-game clip coming primarily off the bench. He shot 52.4 percent (111-of-212) from the field, blocked a team-high 27 shots, ranked second on the team with 103 rebounds, and had 26 assists and 24 steals in his initial campaign. Norris ranked eighth among IIAC players in field goal percentage. Michaelis and Norris were second team all-league picks last year. Norris ranked sixth among IIAC players in blocked shots.

Senior point guard Lucas Ware played in all 29 games last season, averaging 4.6 points and 16.8 minutes per contest. He shot 39.8 percent (49-of-123) from the field while pulling down 96 rebounds and had 44 assists and 29 steals, ranking second on the team in the latter category. Ware tied for ninth-best among IIAC players in steals.

Dubuque head coach Robbie Sieverding says, “We are looking forward to a very balanced conference season. We lost several key players to graduation and we will need our returners to provide leadership in order to achieve our goals.”

Loras College Duhawks
8-17 overall, 3-11 IIAC (tie-sixth)
Head Coach: Greg Gorton (7th season at LOR; 79-78 overall [6 years])
IIAC Titles (last):  6 (2007)
IIAC Tourney Titles (last):  2 (2008)
Starters returning/lost –  3 / 2
Letterwinners returning/lost –  12 / 3
All-IIAC players returning – 1 (Smith 2nd-13)
Honorable mention returning – 0

Loras returns three starters and 12 letterwinners from last season’s 8-17 squad that tied for sixth place in the Conference with a 3-11 record. Leading the Duhawks will be junior wing Nathaniel Smith. Smith, a second team all-league pick, was the team’s top scorer last season, averaging 10.4 points on 100-of-233 (42.9 percent) shooting. He also made a team-high-tying 33 3-pointers, posted team-highs with 71 assists and 28 steals and ranked third on the team with 109 rebounds. Smith ranked seventh among IIAC players in assists and steals and 12th in 3-point field-goal percentage.

Also back and expected to contribute are a couple of seniors – center Ryan Coon and wing player Alex Cline. Coon played in 23 games last season, starting eight, and ranked fourth on the team in scoring at 7.1 points per game. He shot a team-high 63.5 percent (73-of-115) from the field and pulled down 80 rebounds. His field-goal percentage ranked highest among IIAC players last season. Cline ranked sixth on the team in scoring with 7.0 points per game while pulling down a team-leading 138 rebounds. He was also one of the team’s top free throw shooters, converting 53 of 66 attempts (80.3 percent) from the charity stripe. Cline also handed out 34 assists and made 20 steals. He ranked fifth among IIAC players in free-throw percentage and ninth in rebounding.

Loras head coach Greg Gorton says, “We are looking forward to this season. My team has a lot to prove and has been working extremely hard this off-season. I expect a balanced league top-to-bottom again this year.”

Luther College Norse
18-8 overall, 11-3 IIAC (co-champion)
Head Coach: Mark Franzen (8th season at LUT [85-93]; 10th overall [108-122])
IIAC Titles (last):  9 (2013)
IIAC Tourney Titles (last): 1 (2011)
Starters returning/lost –  3 / 2
Letter winners returning/lost –  9 / 4
All-IIAC players returning – 2 (Androus, 2nd-12, DPOY-13)
Honorable mention returning – 0

Luther returns three starters and nine letterwinners from last year’s 18-8 team that went 11-3 in league play to tie Buena Vista for the IIAC title. Leading the Norse will be senior forward John Androus, last year’s Iowa Conference Defensive Player of the Year and a second-team pick in 2012. Starting 25 games last season, Androus averaged 8.6 points and 5.2 rebounds while shooting 52.2 percent (72-of-138) from the field. He ranked second on the team with 65 assists and had a team-leading 25 steals. Androus ranked eighth among IIAC players in free-throw percentage (63-of-83; 75.9 percent), ninth in steals, 10th in rebounding and 11th in assists.

Senior guard Michael Crocker is the team’s top returning scorer, ranking third on the team last season at 9.2 points per game. Starting all 26 games last year, he drained a team-high 40 3-pointers and shot a team-best 80.2 percent (69-of-86) from the free-throw line. Crocker also led the team with 73 assists and made 20 steals. He ranked sixth among IIAC players in free-throw percentage and eighth in assists.

Androus and Crocker will be supported by senior forward Brian Nnaoji and junior guard Aaron Huber. Huber ranked sixth on the team in scoring at 4.5 points per game, shooting 45.7 percent (37-of-81) from the field and 45.5 percent (20-of-44) from 3-point range. He ranked third on the team with 40 assists and 18 steals. Nnaoji played in 26 games, all off the bench, averaging 3.9 points per game while shooting 51.2 percent (43-of-84) from the field. He also ranked fourth on the team with 93 rebounds and 21 assists.

Luther head coach Mark Franzen says, “Finding our rotation at the 4 and 5 spot will be important for us as we begin the nonconference schedule. The seniors who made first-team all-IIAC in 2012-2013 were all really good players. [It] will be interesting to see who steps up around the league to replace them. Dubuque returns three all-conference players that are very skilled.”

Simpson College Storm
7-19 overall, 3-11 IIAC (tie-sixth)
Head Coach: Charles Zanders (4th season at SIM; 31-48 overall [3 years])
IIAC Titles (last):  5 (1998)
IIAC Tourney Titles (last):  none
Starters returning/lost –  3 / 2
Letterwinners returning/lost – 6 / 4
All-IIAC players returning – 0
Honorable mention returning – 1 (Swain-13)

Simpson returns three starters and six letterwinners from last season’s 7-19 team that finished in a three-way tie for sixth place in the league with a 3-11 record. The Storm will be led by junior guard Charles Swain, who averaged a team-high 13.0 points last season on 41.1 shooting (109-of-265) and a team-best 39.3 percent (35-of-89) shooting from 3-point range. He led the team in 3-pointers made while also pulling down 51 rebounds, making 24 steals and dishing out 32 assists. Swain, who received honorable mention from the league’s coaches last season, ranked ninth among IIAC players in scoring and steals and 11th in free-throw percentage and 3-point field-goal percentage.

Junior forward Austin Hennings started 23 of the 26 games in which he played, averaging 10.8 points and a team-leading 6.2 rebounds per game. He also led the team in blocks with 21, shot 44.8 percent (108-of-241) from the field and 38.7 percent (24-of-62) from behind the arc. Hennings ranked seventh among IIAC players in rebounding.

Supporting Swain and Hennings will be a pair of senior forwards – Drew Bentley and Eric Lande. Bentley played in all 26 games last season, making 19 starts. He averaged 6.8 points per game, was second on the team in 3-pointers made (33) and ranked fourth on the team in rebounds (101). Lande also played in all 26 games last season, coming off the bench in each appearance, average 1.0 points and 0.7 rebounds per game.

Simpson head coach Charles Zanders says, “I believe this will be a fun and competitive season in the IIAC. I anticipate a battle every night in order to win the IIAC championship and an even tougher time winning the postseason tournament. I'm personally looking forward to the challenge.”

Wartburg College Knights
15-12 overall, 8-6 IIAC (tie-fourth)
Head Coach: Dick Peth (17th season at WAR [256-167], 29th overall [477-290])
IIAC Titles (last):  21 (2006)
IIAC Tourney Titles (last):  1 (2001)
Starters returning/lost –  2 / 3
Letterwinners returning/lost –  9 / 7
All-IIAC players returning – 1 (Diemer 2nd-13)
Honorable mention returning – 0

Wartburg returns two starters and nine letterwinners from last season’s 15-12 team that tied for fourth in the league with an 8-6 record. The Knights return two of their top three scorers from a year ago, led by senior center Eddie Diemer. Diemer, a second team all-IIAC selection last season, averaged 11.0 points and a team-high 6.4 rebounds while shooting a team-best 51.6 percent (111-of-215) from the field. He also added a team-leading 29 blocked shots, 38 assists and 13 steals. Diemer ranked fourth among IIAC players in blocks, sixth in rebounding, 10th in field-goal percentage and 15th in scoring.

Senior guards Thomas Perkins and Brett Ahlgren will lead Wartburg in the backcourt. Perkins was third on the team in scoring at 7.0 points per game while shooting 43.1 percent (66-of-153) from the field and 41.9 percent (36-of-86) from behind the 3-point line. He also ranked fourth on the team in rebounding at 3.3 per game. Ahlgren played in 24 games last year, making one start and averaging 4.8 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. He shot 48.8 percent (42-of-86) from the field and 42.9 percent (24-of-56) from long range, ranking third on the team in 3-ponters made. Ahlgren and Perkins ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, among IIAC players in 3-point field goal percentage.

Wartburg head coach Dick Peth says, “We are excited about the group of players in our program, blending a quality nucleus of returners with a very talented incoming class. Our team is motivated to build on its experiences from last season and look forward to competing for a conference title.”


Central College