Preview: New Faces, New Approach for Men's Basketball

Friday, November 14, 2014 - page 3

men's basketball preview Below is the transcript from a video preview of the 2014-15 Muhlenberg men’s basketball season. To watch the video, click on the thumbnail at right or here.

Look at the Muhlenberg men’s basketball roster for the 2014-15 season and one thing jumps out: Of the 15 players, eight are freshmen and only three are upperclassmen.

“We definitely are a really young team this year,” said senior guard Malique Killing. “The guys that we have are really good freshmen. It’s really not that they’re behind; we’ve started a new offense, changed up our defense, so we’re all on page one. We’re still raw, we’re still learning, but we’ll get there.”

Nick Melosky The new style of play, which will debut at the Centennial/MAC Challenge this weekend, is designed to take advantage of the Mules’ youth and athleticism.

“We’re trying to play a little faster than we have in the past,” said junior Nick Melosky. “We have a lot of good athletes, a lot of young legs and fast kids that are athletic, so we’re just trying to get after a lot more on defense, get in passing lanes, speed up the game a little bit, and put pressure on the opposing team when they’re on offense and we’re on defense, put them on their heels and try to get some easy baskets off that. I think it’s going to be a faster, more aggressive, fun style of basketball.”

“This will be a really, really, really exciting team,” added Killing. “I think we’ll be more balanced this year than we’ve been in years past. We’re playing a lot of up-tempo basketball – just a fun, up-tempo game for everybody.”

Killing, the lone senior, has been playing up-tempo ever since arriving at Muhlenberg and has led the Centennial Conference in scoring for the last two years. Junior Alec Stavetski, an all-conference pick last year, brings considerable experience and shooting ability, while Melosky is coming back from an injury that cut short his sophomore season.

The other returning varsity players are sophomores, guard Jon Schreer, swingman Brandon LaRose and big man John Hunter.

Mixing in all the new faces on and off the court have been high priorities in the preseason.

“The team chemistry this year is very good,” said Melosky (left). “ We’re all a cohesive unit, more than it has been in the past. We’ve all been making it a priority to be together as a team as much as possible and spend as much time together as possible, and that’s what’s going to win games for us in the long run.”

Muhlenberg has won its share of games over the years and made the CC playoffs the last three seasons, but the big one at the end has proved to be elusive. If everything comes together, that could change this year.

“For us, with the talent level that we have, it’s pretty much championship or bust,” said Killing. “We’ve had those expectations since my freshman year and there’s no need to change them now. We’ve definitely got the group of guys to do it. We might have a slow start just with youth but towards the end of the season, we’ll get clicking and everything will be good for us. ”