Getting in the groove

By Peter Lujan

Transcript Correspondent

The Ohio Wesleyan men’s basketball team burst from the gate Saturday afternoon, playing with tempo and shooting the lights out in defeating DePauw University 77-55 at Branch Rickey Arena.

The victory extended the Battling Bishops’ winning streak to three. Freshman power forward Grant Spicer led the charge with 16 points and seven rebounds, shooting 77% from the field. Spicer said it was part of the team’s game plan.

“One thing we like to go to is just throwing it into the post,” Spicer said. “Not necessarily even to score all the time, but to just play out of the post.”

It was a different story Jan. 15, when the Bishops struggled in the first half of their last game in Kenyon against Kenyon College, scoring only two points in the first ten minutes of the game. In the first half, the Bishops shot just 62% from the field and 50% from three-point range.

One key for Saturday’s win was to move the ball better and get it from sideline to sideline a couple of times, Spicer said.

“DePauw is a very good defensive team and that’s what you have to do to really good defensive teams like that,” he said.

The long ball was huge for the Bishops Saturday night, with six out of the ten players ringing up three-point field goals. It’s a big part of the team’s offense, said freshman guard Jack Clement.

“Our offense is built around the three point shot, mainly because all five guys who are out there on the floor are able to hit that shot,” Clement said.

Coach Mike DeWitt trusts his players to make those shots because of their chemistry, Spicer said.

“[ He] knows we all have the ability to knock down open shots,” Spicer said. “As soon as somebody gets hot, everyone starts to get into a groove.”

With a focus on pushing the tempo of the game and playing fast, the Bishops ensured DePauw paid for its errors Saturday. The Bishops’ scored 16 points off DePauw’s turnovers while DePauwscored only 2 points off the Bishops’ turnovers.

Clement said the team does agood job of taking care of the ball.

“So we make it a point in our offense to make sure that we capitalize off of turnovers that we do cause,” he said. “So if they make a turnover, we want to make sure that they pay for that, because that’s just a free possession.”

The Bishops will try to extend their winning streak Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. against Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.

Men’s basketball looking to make noise this season

By Nick Braydich, Transcript Correspondent

Despite graduating the 2018 Division III Player of the Year, the Ohio Wesleyan men’s basketball team has high hopes for the upcoming season.

“Our goals stay the same. We want to compete for an NCAC title and make it to the NCAA tournament,” junior captain Jaret Gerber said.

The Bishops graduated a total of eight seniors last season, including Nate Axelrod (2018 NCAA Division III Player of the Year) and Seth Clark (first-team All-NCAC).

Junior Grant Gossard said playing well together is essential to replace the senior class.

“We plan to replace Nate and Seth by good team play and ball sharing,” Gossard said. “Our success will depend on old and new players stepping up and taking on larger roles.”

The team has added eight players to their roster this season. These players include six freshmen: Colin Kimbrough, Curtis White, Ethan Stanislawski, Gabe Johnson, Lucas Nathanson and Nick Carlson. The other two players are transfers: sophomore Grant Smith and junior Tristan Tillman.

Assistant coach Nate Conley mentioned the team has prepared differently than previous seasons.

“We have 17 members on our basketball team this year, and eight of them are new to the program,” Conley said. “As a coaching staff, we felt the need to talk and instruct more in practice while focusing on teaching some of the basics.”

Other than practice, the team played in a recent scrimmage. On Oct. 28, the Bishops played against Marietta College, who competed in the Division III NCAA Tournament last year, according to Conley.

The scrimmage was beneficial for the inexperienced team, Gerber said.

“Our first scrimmage could have been a lot better but it was a good wake up call for us,” Gerber said. “Most players don’t have much experience; that’s why you scrimmage.”

Men’s basketball wrapped up the preseason with another scrimmage against Ohio Dominican University (ODU) on Nov. 2. ODU were conference champions in the Great Midwest Conference last season.

Gossard said playing against elite competition in the preseason will provide confidence moving forward.

“Playing the top competition is the best way to get better and if we can compete with the best, then we can compete with anyone,” Gossard said.

Head coach Mike DeWitt usually challenges his team during the preseason stretch, according to Conley.

“He [DeWitt] has always scheduled the toughest non-conference schedule possible to prepare his teams for the rigorous schedule in the NCAC,” Conley said.

The Bishops will begin their season playing in the Midway Classic in Chicago, Illinois on Nov. 17 and 18. They will play Springfield College in their first game, who is ranked No. 3 in the Division III national preseason poll

Mike DeWitt, men’s basketball head coach, selected as interim athletics director

By Sara Hollabaugh, Online Editor

Men’s basketball head coach Mike DeWitt will serve as the interim athletics director.

According to a campus-wide email from Chuck Stinemetz, provost, DeWitt will take over Ingles position in mid-May.

Roger leaves big shoes to fill, but Mike’s stellar career with the Battling Bishops—as a student-athlete, a coach, and a leader in Division III athletics—makes him the ideal person to serve as interim director of athletics,” Stinemetz said.

Stinemetz added DeWitt’s experience at OWU, especially as the winningest men’s basketball coach at OWU will be beneficial to his new post.

Mike has served as an associate athletics director since 2011 and was an assistant athletics director from 2004-11,” Stinemetz said in the email. “Furthermore, he has been a leader at the conference and national levels, serving on the NCAA Division III Great Lakes advisory committee from 2003-06, and he was on the NCAA Division III national committee from 2009-13, serving as committee chair during the 2012-13 season.”

Stinemetz also announced a committee that will search for the new athletics director, which he will chair.

“I will be joined by the following individuals: alumni Christie Allen, Kevin Hinkle, Bob Morrill; head coaches Kris Boey, Kirsta Cobb, Jay Martin, Cassie Cunningham; faculty Barbara MacLeod, David Eastman, Shala Hankison; admissions Ross Grippi; [and from] advancement, Colleen Garland.”

Stinemetz also said two students will join the committee but they have not been selected yet.

DeWitt said he was asked by Stinemetz to be interim director at a meeting after it was made known Ingle’s was leaving.

“I am honored to be asked by our administration to lead our department in this time of transition, and I am extremely fortunate to work with an outstanding group of coaches that will make this transition go as smoothly as possible,” DeWitt said.

DeWitt said he and Ingles will work closely before he leaves.

“Having been a part of the administrative staff over the years certainly will help me be aware of most of these issues as I serve in this role until a new Director of Athletics is hired,” DeWitt said.

DeWitt was not certain of Ingle’s official date of departure and when he will start as interim director.