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A season in review: Men’s basketball

By Charlie Romanow

Section: Sports

March 7, 2013

The Brandeis men’s basketball team ended its season with a 17-8 record overall and 8-6 in the conference, continuing their streak of winning seasons. The team started strong in non-conference play, going 9-2 into UAA competition and then began conference play with five consecutive wins while being ranked in the top 25 in the nation. Although finishing in fourth place in the conference and not gaining a postseason bid, the team played well throughout the season and came close to advancing. Four of their six conference losses came by a margin of less than 10 points, some of which were a back-and-forth battle between the teams. The team’s slide toward the end of the season is justifiable when compared to the tough competition that the UAA presents. The three teams ahead of the Judges all gained a postseason bid.

There does not seem to be a single area that prevented Brandeis from moving on. The team averaged 18 fewer points in losses than wins as well as six fewer rebounds per game. The Judges field goal percentage in losses was 7 percent lower than in wins, and their 3-point shooting was at an even larger deficit, a 17 percent difference between wins and losses. The team averaged nearly the same amount of points per game in-conference as out-of-conference and did not differ significantly in other categories. Brandeis was playing well enough to beat the out-of-conference teams but that same effort was not enough for the stronger conference teams, especially down at the end of the season.

The Judges had more struggles on the road than at home, as can be expected. The team also had more rebounds, assists, blocks and points per game at home. The scoring output and efficiency of the team peaked in December during which they shot 50 percent from the floor and 57.8 percent from long range, as well as scoring 75 points per game, above their 68.5 season average.

What stood out among the conference statistics is that the Judges led in points and defensive shot percentage, as well as 3-point shooting. Their 3-point success can be seen on a national scale as the team is ranked 10th in 3-point percentage in Division III. The team was also second in the conference in rebounding margin at +4.9 per game, although well below the conference and national leading rebound team, Washington University with +12.3. While the team was successful in defense, they were not able to hold onto the ball well or force turnovers. Brandeis was last in the conference in steals and second to last in turnover margin and assist/turnover ratio.

The team’s leading scorer was Gabriel Moton ’14 who finished with 14.5 points per game, enough for seventh in the conference. Moton started all 24 games that he played in. He also led the team with four assists and nearly six rebounds per game, which place him fourth and 10th in the conference, respectively. The teams center, Youri Dascy ’14 started 22 games and played in all 25, while shooting efficiently, making 52.7 percent of his shots, sixth highest in the UAA. Alex Stoyle ’14 started 23 games and ranked ninth in free throw and 3-point percent in the conference. Derek Retos ’14 led the team in free throw percentage and was third in the conference in 3-point percentage.

Ben Bartoldus ’14 and Colby Smith ’16 round up the rest of the team’s main group of players. Bartoldus scored 10.1 points per game in his 21 starts. These six players accounted for two-thirds of the team’s minutes on the court. Still, every player on the team contributed. This year’s captains Bartoldus and Retos each averaged double-figure points last year and played throughout the season with 25 and 19 games, respectively. Dascy has also been on the team for some time as he entered the season with two prior +10 point per game and +20 minute per game figures.

The future of the team and program looks bright as the teams five top scorers are all presumably returning next year as seniors. Many of these players have been in the program for years and have seen what the team can do better and can bring a sense of leadership to the team next year.

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