Yeomen Basketball Adds Height, Depth
The Oberlin men’s basketball team is re-energized. Isaiah Cavaco, the new head coach, has brought in a strong first-year class with four new recruits. He hopes it will fill the gaps of last year’s team with depth and size.
The 2006-2007 season was really a transition year with multiple injuries and Cavaco taking over as interim coach. The team finished a disappointing 5-20 but expectations for 2007-2008 are much higher.
One of the Yeomen’s biggest problems last year was their lack of depth. When they got into close games, they were unable to pull through because the players on the court tired and fatigued.
“More depth really helps, more energy, this year we’re always going to have fresh bodies on the floor,” said junior Mike Loll.
The four first-years should definitely alleviate this problem as long as the team stays healthy. Unfortunately, Loll, last year’s leading scorer and rebounder, has already sprained his ankle and is expected to be out for one to two weeks, possibly missing the Yeomen’s season opener.
Three of the four first-years, James Thompsett, Gian Chiu and Ryan Magiera, can play in the post. All three are six foot five or over, with Chiu coming in at six nine. This obviously provides new depth at center and power forward, which will allow some of Oberlin’s guards to return to their natural positions.
The addition of size will also help in both rebounding and defense. The other first-year, Pat Bernhard, will give Oberlin an additional outside threat. As a senior in high school, Bernhard shot an incredible 46 percent from outside the arc. Loll explained that outside shooting was a weakness of the team last season.
“A lot of guys were hesitant to shoot the ball last year,” he said.
The first-years will also take up some of the scoring load.
“Last year we had three guys able to score in double figures; now we have five or maybe six,” said Coach Cavaco. The first-years will all get a decent amount of playing time.
Coach Cavaco added, “Any of the big guys [could start] and all four will play a pretty significant role.”
The team will still face many of the problems of youth but should be better in all aspects of the game. This year Cavaco looks to improve the offense by a strong emphasis on ball movement and passing.
The Yeomen start their season at Swarthmore College on November 16.