Menís B-Ball Optimistic After Return of Core Group
With a loss to Earlham in the last game of the ’05-’06 season, the Oberlin men’s basketball team drew the curtains on a year described as disappointing. Despite impressive individual performances by the players, the team only managed two wins in the campaign, ending the season at 2-22 overall and 2-12 in conference play. The end of the season also saw the end of Head Coach Frank “Happy” Dobbs’ four-year spell with the team. His place has been filled by former Assistant Coach Isaiah Cavaco, who returns Assistant Coach Frank Gioffre and welcomes newcomer Brett Nichols to his coaching staff.
The team has a promising bunch of players this season, after returning all but one of its players. Senior captain Quinton Spencer, who received honorable mention in the NCAC last season, looks to end his Oberlin basketball career on a high. Returning from injury, junior guard Jordan Beard looks to add speed and creativity as well. Also returning are juniors Matthew Godwin (who led the NCAC in three-point field goals with a total of 58) and Elvis Francois.
Cavaco feels that Spencer’s experience and a healthy Beard should provide a good base for the team this year. “Quinton should give us leadership and a sense of urgency as our only senior. I expect him to be more efficient in getting himself and his teammates involved. Jordan Beard is back from injury and should be a strong offensive presence for us on the perimeter. He has a great understanding of the game and can use that to his advantage as he reaches full health.”
The sophomore class makes up the bulk of the team. Led by co-captain Noah Goldman, who Cavaco feels has “matured as a player and should be able to serve as that inside strength we need,” Omari Hall, Colin Sallee, DJ Maynard and Mike Loll will also be looking to make their speed and skill count this season. As first-years last season, their performances might have been hampered by the rigors of adjusting to the college system. Freed from such burdens, they are looking to make more pronounced contributions to the team.
Oberlin College basketball fields three first-years this season. Jerome Goings competes for position as a guard, while Dylan Venable and Joe Blasher look to pull their weight as forwards. Cavaco acknowledges that they will play an important role this season: “Our first-year players have demonstrated tremendous work ethic and an ability to adapt to changes within the college game. I expect them to contribute on a regular basis and get more and more comfortable as the year goes on.”
Cavaco recognizes the talent his players possess and comments that the team primarily needs to work on its consistency this season. He said, “I expect us to improve everyday in practice and be known throughout the conference as one of those teams that plays as hard as possible every game. That’s something you can control as a team.” He goes on to indicate that he will put his best into the team and expects the players to do the same.
The Yeomen launch their campaign in New York at the SUNY-Brockport Classic on Nov. 18. Their first home appearance will be against Case Western Reserve University in a non-conference game on Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m.