PREVIEWING: Loras College Men's Basketball
Fri, Nov. 15, 2013 - [Men's Basketball]

The Duhawk men's basketball team is eager to get the 2013-14 season underway. After falling just short of making the IIAC tournament the past three years, the Duhawks are prepared and determined to make a contend in the conference title this season.


On the court the Duhawks will look very similar to last year's squad. "We graduated just two seniors from last year's team so we have the majority of our best players back," head coach Greg Gorton said.


2012-13 All-IIAC Second Team selection Nathaniel Smith is among the returners for the Duhawks. The junior from Lincoln, Illinois led the team in scoring average (10.4), assists, steals, and minutes. In addition to Smith, the Duhawks return key players in Alex Cline (7 pts, 5.5 rebs per game in 2012-13), Ryan Coon (team high 5.8 rebounds per game last year), and Aaron Schueller (tied Smith for most 3-pointers made with 33). Luke Barry, Bobby Harmening and Josh Bruns also saw significant playing time last season.


To complement the veterans, the team welcomes three freshmen in Dominique Criss, Danny Quinn, and James Stoll to the Duhawks' varsity squad.


According to Gorton, this Duhawk team has put in a lot of work this off-season. "We have had a number of guys have great off-seasons. This has been the best off-season of any team I've had," he said about his team's hard work so far in 2013.


"Our strength and conditioning coach, Josh Edwards, has done a great job of preparing this group for the upcoming season," Gorton added.


The Duhawks will open the season in Rockford before hosting #5 Wheaton and #2 Illinois Wesleyan. These games will prove as early tests for the Duhawks before they head into IIAC play.


Gorton is optimistic about the team and the upcoming season. "Our team has been working very hard to prove ourselves and get back into contention for another conference championship. This should be a great season and we're excited to see the support Duhawk Nation brings to the bleachers during home games."


Closer Look:

Starters Lost: Connor Mooney

Key Returners: Ryan Coon, Nathaniel Smith, Alex Cline, Bobby Harmening

Also Keep An Eye On: Aaron Schueller, Luke Barry, Josh Bruns, Dominique Criss


The 2013-14 season starts tonight in Rockford, Illinois. The team plays three home games next week, starting with preseason top-5 Wheaton College on Tuesday. Millikin and Illinois Wesleyan come to the AWC on November 22-23. All tipoff times are scheduled for 7:00 PM.