Comfort and confidence will very probably be the buzzwords that describe the men’s basketball team this season. The Ephs managed to secure the Little Three title last year with a thrilling away victory over the archrival Jeffs under Head Coach Mike Maker in his first year with the program. With seven seniorsÂ providing great leadership, work ethic and passion, the experienced team will look to provide Williams fans with a little magic and a lot to celebrate.
The team has an incredible amount of experience despite graduating four seniors. Maker has a veritable arsenal of offensive and defensive weapons and will look to the size, speed and skill of his players to be successful.
“Our success will largely depend on our ability to stay focused for 40 minutes one game at a time,” said Ethan Timmins-Schiffman ’10. “We have a lot of depth, a lot of talent, and a lot of experience, so if we stay focused and execute from buzzer to buzzer we can be very successful.”
Leading the charge are co-captains Blake Schultz ’10 and Joe Geoghegan ’10. Schultz returns as a 2009 First-Team All-NESCAC selection and as the second highest point-getter in the conference last season. Geoghegan is chomping at the bit to get back into the action after being forced to the sidelines for much of last season by two injuries. He will likely shine as the starting center.
The captains share the leadership role with sharpshooter Alex Rubin ’10, Timmins-Schiffman, Will Hardy ’10, Charlie Cates ’10 and Michael Moorstein ’10, who, Maker said, “do more for team chemistry and morale than anybody could possibly give them credit for.”
Representing the younger classes with significant playing time on the court will be Harlan Dodson ’11, Troy Whittington ’11 and starting point-guard James Wang ’12.
The team had an incredibly focused preseason and feels much more confident with Maker’s complicated offense this season. “We are much further along at this point than we were a year ago because we have an incredibly experienced team,” Maker said. “For all of our returning players, it is their second year in our system, and they have become much more comfortable defensively and offensively and are ready to play.”
Joining the team are first-years Parker McClelland ’13, Chase Hicks ’13, Nate Robertson ’13, Dan DiVietri ’13 and James Klemm ’13. Though talented in their own right, these rookies will have to follow the example of the upperclassmen to earn their spots in a potent lineup.
“The freshman class is very talented, and we’re lucky to have such a great group of guys as an addition to our team,” said Timmins-Schiffman.Â “As they learn the offense and become more comfortable with the nuances of Coach Maker’s system, the freshmen will continue to build on their outstanding potential.”
The team remains committed to staying in the moment. “Obviously everyone wants to win the Little Three Title again, win the NESCAC Championship, and make a run in the NCAA tournament, but these are not our objectives looking ahead to this season,” Maker said. “Our goals are simply to improve on a daily basis and to put a team on the floor that everyone at the College can be proud of. And I am certain that our seniors will provide the spirit and team chemistry necessary to achieve this goal.”
The men will showcase their talents in their season opening Williams Invitational this weekend. Williams will face Southern Vermont on Friday at 8 p.m. in Chandler Gymnasium. .