Men's Basketball 2013-14 Season Review

 

 

Kevin Hargrove
Hargrove leaves with program records for blocks in a career, season (76) and game (10).
The 2013-14 Muhlenberg men’s basketball season was something of a rollercoaster ride, but one thing that always trended upward was its players’ spots in the record books.

After the high of the program’s first 8-1 start since 1955-56 (including the Scotty Wood Tournament title and two victories over NCAA Tournament teams), the Mules split their final 16 regular-season contests to finish 11-7 in the Centennial Conference. That earned them a third consecutive playoff berth, but the season ended at 16-10 with a first-round loss at McDaniel.

That didn’t stop Muhlenberg’s vast individual talent from leaving its mark along the way.

Start with junior Malique Killing, who turned in one of the best offensive seasons in program history. The electrifying guard led the CC in scoring for the second straight year, ranking inside the 15 top in Division III at 21.7 points per game – 5.9 more than any other player in the conference. He also paced the league in assists (90) and free-throw percentage (.876) and tied for third in steals (37).

Austin Curry
Curry hit 39.8 percent of his three-point attempts during his career, and tied a career high by going 7-for-8 from beyond the arc against Dickinson late in the regular season.
Killing’s 542 total points set a school record, breaking his own mark set the previous year. Named to the D3hoops.com All-Mid-Atlantic second team and the All-CC second team for the third straight year, Killing climbed all the way to seventh on the all-time scoring list with 1,505 points, and the junior needs just 284 next year to break the school record that has stood for 43 years.

Within his record-setting season, Killing also compiled the best three-game stretch in program history. He became the first Mule to score 30 or more points in three consecutive games, the last a 35-point effort that spearheaded the team’s thrilling victory at Dickinson, the CC regular-season champ and an “Elite Eight” participant.

Senior co-captains Austin Curry and Kevin Hargrove also continued to etch their names deeper into the Mule annals.

Curry, who averaged 8.9 points per game, finished third in the CC in three-point percentage (.421) and became the school’s all-time pacesetter in career triples with 199. Additionally, Curry eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau and was named CC player of the week for the first time after a 24-point effort in a comfortable victory at DeSales, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round. He started every game but two over the last four years.

Brandon Bovino
Bovino, who took his sophomore season off, finished with 313 points and 327 rebounds as a Mule.
Hargrove, meanwhile, reprised his four-year role as one of the league’s premier shot blockers. The 6-10 senior, already the school’s all-time leader in blocks, averaged 10.5 points and a team-leading 8.5 rebounds per game, adding 56 more rejections (third in the CC) to his resume. That gave Hargrove 244 career swats, placing him third all-time in conference history. He also recorded 10 double-doubles to push his career total to 22.

Fellow seniors James Albano and Brandon Bovino were key contributors on the inside. Albano made 24 appearances, averaging 3.8 points and 3.9 rebounds, and had the best game of his career in a victory over Washington College, scoring a career-high 17 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the field and the line.

Bovino started all but two games at power forward. The bulky senior averaged 4.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, scoring in double figures four times and leading the team on the glass on five occasions.

Complementing the Mules’ record-breaking stars was a collection of talent that could one day threaten those newly established marks.

Sophomore Alec Stavetski parlayed a breakout season into CC honorable mention laurels. The sharpshooter was one of the league’s top marksmen, finishing seventh in three-pointers made (51) and three-point percentage (.389). Stavetski, who averaged 13.2 points per game and had four outings of 20 or more points, will enter his junior season with 89 triples already on his ledger.

A pair of freshmen – with the same name but separated by nearly a foot in height – also gave the Mules plenty of reasons for optimism heading into next season. Jon Schreer led the CC in three-point accuracy (.459), while fellow rookie John Hunter showed promise in the post, averaging 3.1 points and 4.2 rebounds per game to go along with 21 blocks.

First-year forward Brandon LaRose (3.8 ppg, 1.7 rpg) became a valuable rotation player after transferring in midway through the season, and sophomore Nick Melosky averaged 1.9 points and 1.6 rebounds before suffering a season-ending injury.