Saturday, November 15 marks the official start of the Maroons’ 2014-2015 season. So, here are a few things to note regarding the Maroons in 2013-2014, and then a look at this year’s team.
Last season, the Maroons came in third place in their conference, with a record of 8-6 (and an overall record of 15-10). Additionally, four players earned selection to the All-University Athletic Association (UAA) teams: Royce Muskeyvalley, Derrick Davis, Sam Gage and Jordan Smith. Muskeyvalley earned Second Team All-UAA status, while the rest were Honorable Mentions (an accomplishment Muskeyvalley himself earned during the 2012-2013 season). UChicago also placed sixteenth in the final 2013-2014 standings of the Division III Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, making it the highest finish in school history; the previous best was twenty-fourth place in 2003-2004.
This year marks head coach Mike McGrath’s sixteenth year at UChicago. He has an overall record of 221-161, including a 134-78 mark in UAA play. Joining him is assistant coach Jason Petti, who enters his fourth season with the UChicago staff; he previously served as volunteer assistant coach for two seasons.
Two seniors return to the squad this year, Muskeyvalley and Ian Joyce. Joyce missed last year due to a knee injury and unfortunately Muskeyvalley will not be able to play this year due to a torn meniscus. Each will provide great leadership to the team throughout the year however.
During 2012-2013, Joyce ranked second on the team with 11 blocks, averaging 3 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. And as a freshman, he scored four points in three minutes against Kalamazoo and Case Western Reserve. Muskeyvalley ranks eighth in school history with 229 assists (as of last year). He started all 25 games with 10.1 points and 1.8 rebounds per game and made Second Team All-UAA. He also led the team with 92 assists (3.7 per game) and 34 steals (1.4 per game) on the season, posting 11 games with double-digit points. As a sophomore, he scored a season-best 18 points against Rochester. And during his freshman year, he ranked third on the team in assists (52) and steals (13).
A strong group of juniors return to the floor this year as well, and will be counted on heavily for the team that was picked to win the UAA this year.
Nate Brooks shot a team-high 57.5 percent from the field last season and had seven games with double-digit points and three games with double-digit rebounds. He was also an UAA All-Academic. Eric Robinson ranked second on the team for the season, with 12 blocks. Jordan Smith, an Honorable Mention All-UAA, started all 25 games and led the team with 11.2 points per game, along with 3.4 rebounds per game. He also shot 40.9 percent from the three-point range with a team-high 38 treys. John Steinberg played in all 25 games with 3.2 points and 1.5 rebounds per game as an UAA All-Academic. And Alex Voss had three games with 13 points on the season, playing in all 25 games with 6.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.
Additionally, the development of sophomores will be key to the success of the team.
Blaine Crawford played in nine games last season, with 1.2 points and 1.3 rebounds per game. Alex Gustafson played in 11 games with 1.5 points and 1.8 rebounds per game and recorded season-highs of 12 points and nine rebounds at IIT. Tyler Howard also did well against IIT, posting season highs of nine points and three assists there, as did Waller Perez who scored a season-high seven points, with 1.7 points and 0.6 rebounds per game otherwise.
Alongside the veterans are some new faces. Five to be exact.
Collin Barthel was a state finalist at Cathedral, as well as Cathedral High School Men’s Athlete of the Year. He was a top 100 Junior-Senior Basketball Player and also made the All-City Basketball Team.
Jake Fenlon holds the school records for most three-pointers made in a single game (11) and most points scored in a home game (44). He played basketball all four years of his high school career and made First Team All-Greater Rochester and Ronald McDonald of Rochester All-Star.
Erik Muelheims was a four-year starter at Saint George’s. He also won 2013-2014 Athlete of the Year and was the fourth-leading scorer in school history; additionally, he was a three-time team MVP and team captain. He averaged17.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.7 steals per game while shooting 48 percent from the field his senior year.
Ryan Shearmire started more games than anyone else in West Linn school history. He was a 6A State Champion during his junior and senior year, a two time All-State and made the All-State tournament three out of his four years as a varsity player.
Porter Veach did two years at New Trier, before transferring to Lake Forest, where he made the Illinois Lake County All-Star Game. He then played a post-graduate year at Vermont Academy.