November 14, 2013

Brandeis Basketball 2013-14 Season Previews

WOMEN

The Brandeis women will look to improve on a sixth-place finish in the UAA from 2012-13, when they went 10-15 overall and 4-10 in the league. The Judges played one of Division III's toughest schedules as more than half of the team's losses came at the hands of opponents who made the NCAA tournament. Coach Carol Simon's squad will focus on their stifling defense, which finished second in the league in scoring (55.5 ppg, 91st in Division III) and first in field-goal percentage (35.3%, 104th). Offensively, senior Kasey Dean shouldered the load,  leading the squad in scoring (8.6 ppg, 18th in UAA) and assists (2.4 apg, 12th), while also finishing second in steals and fourth in rebounds. Classmate Janelle Rodriguez picked up her game in league play, averaging 7.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. She scored the squads' season-high of 22 points in a win over Chicago. Both Dean and Rodriguez were All-UAA Honorable mentions. Senior forwards Nicolina Vitale and Angela Miller will provide size up front. Senior Julia Scanlon will be joined in a backcourt that will benefit from an extra year of experience for sophomores Samantha Mancinelli - who started 11 non-conference games – and Niki Laskaris – who appeared in 22 contests. Brandeis tips off the 2013-14 campaign against Mount Ida on Nov. 15 before facing Colby or Eastern Nazarene in their Invitational.

MEN

The Brandeis men's basketball team hopes the chemistry that got them off to a 14-2 start is enough to overcome the injuries that derailed them to a 17-8 finish, 8-6 and fourth in the UAA. Coach Brian Meehan starts his 11th season with the Judges welcoming back six seniors that produced two All-UAA performers and two honorable mentions. Brandeis will look to maintain their strong defense that led the league in scoring defense (62.4 ppg, 46th nationally) and field-goal percentage defense (39.7%, 38th). Offensively, Brandeis' led the league at a 39.5% clip from behind the arc, 11th in Division III. Individually, they return first-team All-Association guard Gabriel Moton, who led the squad in scoring (14.5 ppg), rebounding (5.7 rpg) and assists (4.0 apg) with four double-doubles on the season. Forward Alex Stoyle earned second-team All-Association honors after averaging 10.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game in league contests. He was twice named UAA Player of the Week in 2012-13. Center Youri Dascy (9.8 ppg, 52.7 FG%, 4.4 rpg) was an All-Association honorable mention for the third year in a row, while guard Ben Bartoldus (10.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg) earned HM recognition for the first time. Guard Derek Retos (9.5 ppg) finished his campaign with 163 3-pointers and needs 46 more to become the Judges' all-time leader. Sophomore guard Colby Smith started 15 of the last 16 games and averaged 2.3 assists per game. Brandeis kicks off its 2013-14 season Nov. 16 against Curry.