The Albion men’s basketball team is picked to finish fourth in the MIAA conference this season, according to a preseason coaches poll.
Last year the Brits finished third in the conference with a 15-12 overall record and an 8-6 conference record. The Brits graduated four seniors from last season’s squad, and with a large freshman class leadership will play a big role in the development of the team.
“We graduated four really good guys last year,” said head basketball coach, Jody May. “We miss that experience.”
Kolin Kazen, Holland junior, was third on the team in scoring last season, averaging 9.1 points per game. Now a veteran, Kazen is expected to be a leader on and off the court.
“I want to lead my team to winning games,” Kazen said. “Whether that is scoring, rebounding or just coaching our younger guys up. Whatever it takes to win games.”
The Britons schedule this season will keep them on their toes with tough in and out of conference opponents. Four of the first five games for the Brits will be at home this year which will give students plenty of chances to attend games before winter break.
“I really like our schedule; we are playing a lot of [out of conference] teams that are very similar to our league schools,” coach May said. “They’re really going to test us in the nonconference.”
Leadership is going to play a big role in the development of first year players. Adjusting to game play at the collegiate level does not happen overnight, and first year players will look to upperclassman for guidance.
One freshman that has potential to have a breakout season is Carter Elliot, Franklin first-year. Standing 6’7’’, Elliot can be a force down low both offensively and defensively.
“It’s going to be a lot faster and guys are going to be a lot more physical,” Elliot said. “I feel like I can contribute a lot to the team though, whether it’s scoring or rebounding, I’ll do my best to produce”
The Albion men’s basketball team kicks off the season with three home games, the first against Franciscan College of Steubenville, Ohio. The Brits hope the home court advantage will translate into early momentum the squad can carry through conference play.
“I think that we can win the MIAA Championship and get to the tournament this year,” Elliot said. “It’s up to us to live up to our potential.”
Photo Courtesy of Albion College Sports Information