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Muhlenberg College

Thursday, November 15, 2007 - page 3

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Season Preview
men’s basketball tries to bring “A” game

The Muhlenberg basketball team opens the 2007-08 season filed under “A” for anonymous. By the end of the year, the Mules hope that “A” stands for astonishing.

Muhlenberg, which tips off against
Greg Pask
Pask has shot 45.8 percent from the field during his career.
Philadelphia Biblical in the first round of the Scotty Wood Tournament on Friday at 8:00, was picked ninth in the Centennial Conference preseason poll despite making the playoffs with a fifth-place finish each of the last two years.

“I wasn’t too surprised,” admitted senior forward Greg Pask. “A lot of the conference hasn’t seen the players we have now, so it’s more that they don’t know us.”

That’s because the Mules graduated seven seniors, all of whom saw starting time, from their 10-15 team. The returning players combined to average only 13.1 points and 7.8 rebounds last year, and only one started more than one game.

Equally as important as finding players to fill up the stat sheet will be finding the right mix. And in that area, Pask believes Muhlenberg is off to a good start.

“One of the things that usually develops later is the chemistry, and we already have that,” he said. “A lot of guys have surprised me with how willing they are to buy into the team mentality. They’ll give up a shot for someone else to get a better shot.”

Successful programs are built on players coming forward
Chris MacIntosh
MacIntosh, who was third on the team with 39 assists last year, is serving as a team captain.
when their number is called, and several Muhlenberg players will have their chance to take on more prominent roles this year.

Of the six returning varsity players, the two with the most experience are juniors Mike Bernardini and Chris MacIntosh. Bernardini started to come into his own at the end of last season, averaging 14.5 points over the final six games to help lead Muhlenberg’s late-season run to the playoffs. He ended the injury-interrupted campaign with an average of 8.9 points per game.

MacIntosh has provided steady leadership at point guard the last two years, starting a total of 16 games, and gives the team a veteran presence on the floor.

Pask, the lone senior on the roster, is a tough post player who has come up with some big games during his career, including a 16-point effort against eventual CC champion Johns Hopkins last year.

A trio of sophomores – Ryan Foster, Obi Nwizugbo and Peter Barnes – round out the returning letterwinners. Foster showed signs of becoming a legitimate scoring threat as a freshman, hitting double figures three times and shooting 42.4 percent from three-point range. Nwizugbo, at 6-6, and Barnes, at 6-9 the tallest player on the squad, can give the Mules a presence in the post with continued development.

Juniors Darrell Roth and Tim Murray and sophomore Brian Frankoski, who have all shuttled between the junior varsity and varsity during their college careers, could also be consistent varsity contributors for the first time.

Muhlenberg will try to overcome its relative inexperience by playing to its strengths. “We have more of a defense-first mentality, and on any given day anyone could put up double digits in points, so we’ll be tougher to scout,” commented Pask.

The Mules just hope they figure out who they are before their opponents do.

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