Trine Men’s Basketball 2012-2013 Basketball Preview

Coming off a 15-11 record (8-6 MIAA) and a semifinal loss in the MIAA postseason tournament to Adrian, the Thunder are on the rise with the core of their team returning. The second year of head coach Brooks Miller tenure looks to be a bright one led by first-team MIAA players guard Ian Jackson and forward Scott Rogers.

The team’s offense will look to the scoring talent of Jackson looks to increase his stat line of 18 points per game, which ranked 2nd in the conference last year. He will receive help carrying the scoring loading from fellow senior Scott Rogers, who averaged 13 points and 5 boards a game. Senior forward Neal Smith will help to spread the floor. Sophomore guards Dustin Hall and Braden Knight will be expected to handle increased playing time and help Trine make up for the loss in production from forward Tim Pearcy and guard Chris Kent.

Trine is looking to duplicate its initial foundation of success by first winning the turnover battle as it finished +8 overall last year.  The second step is playing hard nose defense, which finished in the top quarter in the nation at 65 points per game, second in the conference behind Adrian. The third step is to hit the freebies, Trine finished first in the conference and 32nd in the NCAA in free throw percentage on the year.

What will help the Thunder take the next step is getting better looks and defending them as well. The Thunder rank in the middle of the NCAA ranks when it comes to this, shooting 44 percent overall last year while surrendering the same. A jump to even average in rebounding would help prop up the offense and cut down on extra possessions for the defense, as the Thunder were out rebounded by more than six rebounds a game.

Another year in the Coach Miller’s system along with another year of experience from a young team last year should give the Thunder a chance at a top finish in the MIAA after a third place finish last year.

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