Here is a preview of Michigan men’s basketball teams in the GLIAC, by David Goricki of The Detroit News. Go here for a preview of GLIAC favorite Ferris State.
Coach: Burt Paddock (10th season, 246-67)
Last season: 24-9 (17-5 WHAC)
Top returning players: Robbie Bramhill, 6-8, So., forward (10.6 points, 4.5 rebound), Khadim Dieng, 7-0, Sr., center (8.4 points, 4.7 rebounds), Wes Webbert, 6-8, Sr., forward (6.4 points).
Outlook: Davenport is the newcomer in the GLIAC after playing in the WHAC. The Panthers, who lost their top three scorers, have multiple transfers, including Janeau Joubert (Central Michigan) and Nick Malonga (North Florida).
GRAND VALLEY STATE
Coach: Ric Wesley (14th season, 271-116, 177-86 GLIAC)
Last season: 16-13 (12-9 GLIAC North)
Top returning players: Drake Baar 6-8, Sr., center (8.3 points, 3.9 rebounds), Justin Greason 6-10, Jr., center (8.1 points, 4.3 rebounds), Myles Miller, 5-8, Sr., guard (6.2 points, 3.3 assists)
Outlook: The Lakers led the GLIAC in field-goal defense (.392) and rebounding margin (plus-6.1), but have to replace their top three scorers in Luke Ryskamp (13.5 points), Trevin Alexander (11.1 points, 4.1 rebounds) and Juwan Starks (9.1 points).
LAKE SUPERIOR STATE
Coach: Steve Hettinga (11th season, 178-112)
Last season: 16-10 (13-8 GLIAC North)
Top returning players: Akaemji Williams, 5-8, Sr., guard (21.5 points, 7.9 assists), Carson Manger, 6-2, Jr., guard (11.7 points, 4.6 rebounds), Michael Nicholson, 6-9, Sr., center (11.6 points, 7.1 rebounds).
Outlook: Hettinga was the GLIAC coach of the Year in 2013-14 and 2014-15 after guiding the Lakers to a school-record tying 27 wins in ’14, then 26-7 in ’15, earning their second straight NCAA tournament appearance. This could be a team capable of winning 20 games with a strong nucleus that includes one of the league’s premier scorers in Williams, along with Manger and Nicholson.
Coach: Kevin Luke (24th season, 407-256, 272-173 GLIAC)
Last season: 16-14 (13-8 GLIAC North)
Top returning players: Kyle Monroe, 6-5, Jr., forward (20.1 points, 7.2 rebounds), Tommy Lucca, 6-0, So., guard (15.7 points, 4.9 assists), Bryan Heath, 6-4, Jr., guard (13.1 points)
Outlook: The Huskies return their entire starting lineup, led by first-team all-GLIAC forward Kyle Monroe, to possibly climb the ladder in the GLIAC after advancing to the tournament semifinal, falling at Ferris State, 79-71. KC Borseth, son of former Michigan women’s coach Kevin Borseth, joins the team after serving as team manager last season.
Coach: Bill Sall (fifth season, 29-77, 22-65 GLIAC)
Last season: 8-18 (6-15 GLIAC North)
Top returning players: Naba Echols, 5-11, Jr. guard (17.6 points, 4.5 assists), Jordan Perez, 6-3, Sr., guard (12.3 points, 5.3 rebounds), Isaiah Johnson, 6-5, Jr., forward (14 points, 6 rebounds), Will Carius, 6-7, So., forward (10.6 points, 6.3 rebounds).
Outlook: Look for the Wildcats to make a move up the North Division standings if they play better at the defensive end after allowing opponents to average 79 points and 47 percent shooting last season.
Coach: Jeff Rekeweg (eighth season, 94-106)
Last season: 5-25 (3-18 GLIAC South)
Top returning players: Nick Spitzley, 6-1, Sr., guard (12.0 points), Brad Schaub, 6-5, Sr., forward (8.0 points, 5.1 rebounds), Zach Allread, 6-6, Jr., forward (8.4 points, 4.5 rebounds).
Outlook: The Timberwolves ended last season by losing eight straight and 15 of their final 16 games. They will have to improve on their shooting (40 percent) to climb closer to a .500 season. Look for Nate Georgeton to get action at the point after redshirting last season.
SAGINAW VALLEY STATE
Coach: Randy Baruth (84-58, sixth season)
Last season: 17-11, (10-11 GLIAC South)
Top returning players: Malik Garner (7.6 points, 2.9 assists), Mike Wells Jr. (8.3 points).
Outlook: Just four players return, but that’s a good thing since the Cardinals missed out on the league’s postseason tournament after a sub-.500 mark in GLIAC play, a major step back after winning 25 games and advancing to the NCAA Elite Eight the previous year. Look for sophomore guard Jake Daniels to play a bigger role.
Coach: David Greer (17th season, 224-209, 161-149 GLIAC)
Last season: 16-10 (13-8 GLIAC South)
Top returning players: Marcus Moore 6-2, Sr., guard (12.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists), Ronald Booth, 5-7, Sr., guard (14.6 points).
Outlook: The Warriors return six players, including three starters, accounting for 60 percent of their scoring last year. They also have a big addition in junior guard Latin Davis, a transfer from Youngstown State who led Milan to a Class B state title in 2014. Tristan Wilson, a 6-8 inside presence and son of former EMU standout shot blocker Theron Wilson in the mid-1990s, will be a big addition after missing the majority of last season due to an injury.