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ISSUE 120 VOL 7 PUBLISHED 11/10/2006

Winter Preview, Men's Basketball: Experience to guide men

By Shoshanna Blank
Staff Writer

Friday, November 10, 2006

After a seventh-place MIAC finish a season ago, the men’'s basketball team looks to an experienced group to lead them to an improved conference finish. The Oles return almost the entire team, including the top seven scorers from a year ago, after losing only one player, Chris Clark, to graduation.

Leading the veteran squad are seniors Jon Bain, Jon Butala and Mark Bergstrom. As a junior, Bergstrom led the Oles in scoring with 13.0 points per game, good for 12th in the conference in scoring, and also finished sixth in rebounding. Bain was an All-MIAC honorable mention selection as well.

“"This is one of the most balanced and experienced teams I have coached in my 13 years at St. Olaf,”" head coach coach Dan Kosmoski said.

The team’'s main strength last year was its aggressiveness on the boards, as they were fourth in the MIAC in offensive rebounding. They expect this strength to lead to success this season.

One thing the team is working on is their perimeter shooting. If they can improve on this as well as remain a top-tier rebounding team, they can expect to compete with the conference’'s best.

The home crowds at the games last year were some of the best in the conference and the team hopes to receive as much support this year. One thing to be noted is that games will have earlier start times this winter, 5:45 p.m. weekdays and 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Also, during men'’s and women'’s doubleheaders, the men will play first and the women second, as opposed to the opposite order last year.

The men’s basketball team opens their season Nov. 17 against Southwest State Univ. The Oles open their home schedule on Nov. 20, against Luther College, at 7 p.m.

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