Some semi-speculative/rather uniformed opinions on the Calvin men’s basketball roster which was posted on Friday. Listed by class and then height, for no particular reason.
#22 Brian Haverdink, 6-4, Guard/Forward
Brian is regularly lauded by Coach Vande Streek as a superb team defender. That alone plus the fact that he’s the only senior on the team will likely land him a spot in the starting lineup. Brian didn’t look to shoot very often last year, and he was a league-average scorer (in terms of efficiency) when he did, but the Knights probably need him to up his scoring average (and shooting percentage, especially from long range) this season. Loose comparison from the past: Brad Sall.
#20 Bryan Powell, 6-1, Guard
Despite the insistence of many that Bryan Powell is a shooting guard, I believe that he’s as “pure” of a point guard as they come. Last season, Bryan put up the best assist rate (20.0%, percentage of teammate’s field goals assisted on while on the court) that we’ve seen since 2005 when Ricky Shilts (21.6%) and Josh Vriesman (20.8%) were running the point. According to my data (using Calvin’s online statistical records that go back to 2002) Bryan Powell is fourth in career assist rate behind only Ricky Shilts, Jeremy Veenstra (only including data from his Junior and Senior year), and Josh Vriesman.
Bryan came to Calvin as a scorer from Wyoming Park, but his scoring efficiency levels just aren’t where they need to be (I hate to say it this poignantly, but no player who received at least 25% of the available minutes has been less efficient as a scorer than Bryan has been in his Calvin career with just 0.88 points per weighted shot). For 2012 he needs to shoot fewer threes, and concentrate on distributing the ball. Loose comparison from the past: Dustin Smith.
#10 David Rietema, 6-1, Guard
We didn’t see a lot of David Rietema last year (only 16 total minutes), but in that short time we saw him take care of the ball (zero turnovers) and record three assists. Most of that time was against the second and third strings of the opponents, so we won’t really read into very much. I’m looking for David to receive in the neighborhood of 16 minutes per game this year. He won’t be asked to score much at all, but instead be a ball handler and distributor. Loose comparison from the past: Josh Vriesman.
#30 Tom Snikkers, 6-4, Forward
Tom Snikkers is going to have to be THE scorer this year. He took 31% of the team’s shots while he was on the floor last year, so there’s not really room to shoot more, so Tom is going to have to improve his efficiency. He scored a ton of points in 2011, but he did it with “only” team average efficiency. It’s tough to ask, but he’ll need to improve on his field goal percentage a little bit (we’d like to see his .498 eFG% creep up above .500). Loose comparison from the past: Chris Prins
#44 Matt DeBoer, 6-5, Forward/Guard
I’m looking for Matt DeBoer to take a big step forward this year. Last year, DeBo was strong on the offensive glass, and efficient enough as a scorer for the season as a whole, but he was inconsistent in his play and often struggled with turnovers and mental mistakes. Matt will need to see a small uptick in his free throw percentage as well as his shooting percentage on close and mid-range shots. Loose comparison from the past: Brad Schnyders.
#50 Adam DeYoung, 6-7, Center/Forward
Adam DeYoung actually was an efficient scorer last year when he decided to try to score due to his ability to get to the free throw line. He attempted only 23 field goals on the season, but was also awarded 22 free throws (an incredible 0.96 free throw rate). Of course, he took less than one field goal attempt per game, so he didn’t really factor into the offense outside of rebounding. DeYoung severly lacks any polish on the offensive end, so I don’t thin we can expect much contribution in 2012, but some improvement would be nice. Loose comparison from the past: Paul Campbell.
#40 Nate Van Eck, 6-9, Center
I don’t really know much of anything about Nate Van Eck except that he has a big frame, played two years of JV ball (one year of which was basically a loss due to mononucleosis), and was involved in the Calvin pop-bottle bomb incident (which I’m sure he’s trying to forget). Calvin will carry six players that are listed at 6-7 or taller. I’m taking that as an indication that coach Vande Streek isn’t quite sure what his big-man rotation will be. Nate should probably get an opportunity to seize some of that playing time. Loose comparison from the past: Mike Zwier.
Jordan Brink, 6-3, Guard (injured, out for season)
Jordan Brink was poised to have a big role for the Knights in his sophomore season, but he unfortunately suffered a shoulder injury during the offseason and will be out for the year. So we’re going to have to suck it up and hope that Jordan returns to the lineup healthy next season. Loose comparison from the past: Ricky Shilts.
#34 Jake Mantel, 6-4, Forward/Guard
Jake Mantel, brother of John, took the long road to the varsity squad. He broke his foot during tryouts (I hope I’m getting the details correct) and had to sit out the year. He paid his dues last year with a season on the JV squad. He’s now in his third year on campus (it’s his second year of eligibility) and he’s getting his first crack on varsity. We’ll have to see how much action Jake actually sees this year. At 6-4, 220 pounds he may too much of a tweener to log many minutes from the get-go. While watching Jake play, I’ve found him to be tough and gritty. Loose comparison from the past: Todd Koetsier.
#52 Jordan Mast, 6-5, Forward/Guard
Jordan Mast was definitely a JV player that struck me as having varsity potential last year. Even at 6-5 his three point shot was deadly accurate. From my limited viewing (and relatively poor memory) he struck me as having limited mobility and a slow release, but he very well could be in the running for significant minutes this year. Loose comparison from the past: Andy Draayer.
#24 Mitch Vallie, 6-5, Forward
I’m first in line for the Mitch Vallie fan club (maybe second behind Zac). We both think that Mitch can be a major contributor for the Knights this season. He spent last season playing on JV and sitting on the varsity bench, but the eye test shows him to be a skilled and athletic player. In 32 minutes last year, he showed an ability to get to the free throw line, a nice shooting percentage, and promising scoring efficiency. I think he’s a dark horse candidate to crack the starting lineup. Loose comparison from the past: Danny Rodts.
#14 Mickey DeVries, 6-7, Forward
Mickey Devries spent his freshman year on the bench at Wheaton. That’s really all I know about him. He was good enough to crack the roster of a good Wheaton program as a freshman, so that bodes well for him. Loose comparison from the past: Eric DeVries (because of the last name). Side note: if Eric had the nickname “Bear”, would Mickey have to have a nickname of “Mouse”? I’m not sure he’d go for that.
#12 Brent Henry, 6-7, Forward
Brent Henry is another big-framed player that I know next to nothing about. He appears to have added a significant amount of weight in the offseason (up 35 lbs from the 190 he was listed last year). I really have no idea where he’ll fit in the rotation. Loose comparison from the past: Brian Roelofs.
#42 Tyler Kruis, 6-9, Center
Tyler may be the best interior defender I’ve seen in Division III. That may be because I don’t know exactly what good defense looks like, but what I do know is that Tyler blocks just about every shot. Tyler blocked 21% of the opponents two-point shots while he was in the game. That’s the best we’ve seen (again, since 2002). The next best season in that category was Josh Meckes as a sophomore and junior when he blocked 19% and 18% respectively. The only other player to even crack 16% was Ryan Smalligan in his senior year (at 18%). We’ll see if he can continue that pace as he sees an uptick in playing time this year.
Tyler’s going to have to improve his scoring efficiency this season. To do that, he’s going to need to improve his touch around the basket (shot .450 on two-point shots), and knock down his free throws (only .476 from the line last year). Some folks will claim that he needs to shoot fewer threes, and that may partially be true, but he attempted fewer than one per game, and his .333 three point percentage was effectively higher than his two-point percentage. Not saying he should shoot any more from outside (or any less, really), but his real improvement needs to be the development of the inside game. Loose comparison from the past: John Mantel.
#4 Ryan Nadeau, 5-10, Guard
By a few accounts, Ryan Nadeau was the best player on a Dearborn Divine Child (Southeast-siders, represent!) team that had a surprisingly good season. I don’t know if he’ll be able to score much right away in the MIAA, but he allegedly has a great deal of quickness and has the ability to be a superb passer. He’s listed on both the JV and varsity rosters, so I’ll expect him to sit on the end of the bench for the season. Loose comparison from the past: Trent Salo.
#32 Tyler Dykstra, 6-8, Forward
According to Stephen Bell of bankhoops.com and MLive.com, Tyler Dykstra’s size and skill set could have warranted a scholarship from some of the smaller D-I programs (his exact example was some of the top-tier Patriot League teams). That doesn’t mean that Tyler will come in and be a star (or even a starter) right away, but it does mean that he has the potential to be a star down the road. That could be this year, or it could be never, but having a “D-I profile” is never a bad thing for a Division III player. Loose comparison from the past: Dan Aultman.
Here’s what I expect to as far as a rotation goes (at least early on).
Lead-pipe locks to start:
Dark Horse Starters/Probable Rotation Players
Nate Van Eck