TIFFIN, Ohio—The Heidelberg University men’s basketball team was picked to finish fifth in the Ohio Athletic Conference regular season standings during the 2011-12 regular season in a vote by league coaches, announced today by the league office. The ‘Berg received 49 of a possible 81 points, sitting between Capital University in fourth place with 50 points and Ohio Northern University with 48 points.
Marietta College was predicted to win the regular season championship in a unanimous vote with 81 points and nine first-place votes. John Carroll University came in second with 69 points and one first-place vote. Coaches could not vote for their own team.
Following Marietta and JCU were Otterbein University (59), Capital and Heidelberg in places 3-5. ONU, Baldwin-Wallace College (37), Wilmington College (29), the University of Mount Union (17) and Muskingum (11) completed the bottom five.
Fourth-year head coach Anthony Gholson returns 14 letter winners and three starters to a team that finished 12-15 overall and 9-9 in the OAC a season ago, including junior second-team All-OAC guard Dane Givner (Pittsburgh, Pa./Harvest Preparatory), junior honorable mention All-OAC forward Nate Davis (Dayton/Stivers) and senior forward Darion Capers (Clayton/Trotwood-Madison).
Givner enters his third season as the school’s active career leader in points with 694. In 2010-11, Givner led the team by scoring 14.4 points per game, was second with 4.6 rebounds per game and tallied team-highs of 147 field goals, 34 three-pointers, 99 assists and 45 steals.
Davis averaged 7.3 ppg. and a team-best 7.1 rpg. while posting a team-high 65 blocks. His 50.7 (77-of-152) field goal percentage from a season ago leads all returners.
Capers was second on the team in 2010-11 with 11.2 ppg. and third with 4.4 rpg. and connected on 47.4 percent (108-of-228) of his attempts from the field.
Incoming guard Nick Wake (Goshen) and post players Cole Williams (Tiffin/Columbian), Jack Hart (Albany/Alexander), Brian Crawford (Delaware/Buckeye Valley), Chris Jefferies (Concord/Painesville Riverside) and Doug Waldmannstetter (Oregon/Clay) are expected to see significant minutes on the court.
As a team, the Student Princes return 74 percent of their scoring and 69 percent of their rebounding, as the 2011-12 returners scored 1,408 of the team’s 1,896 points, and pulled down 696 of its 1,005 rebounds.
Heidelberg opens its 2011-12 slate by hosting the ‘Berg Alumni Classic on Nov. 18-19 with games against Ohio State – Lima and Thomas More (Ky.) College. Other non-conference tilts include games at Albion (Mich.) College (Nov. 22), Waynesburg (Pa.) College (Dec. 15), Trine (Ind.) University (Dec. 17), and Hiram College and the College of Wooster at Wooster’s annual Mose Hole Classic (Dec. 29-30).
The OAC schedule features a double round-robin among the league’s 10 teams, with each team playing all other teams once at home and once on the road. The top eight teams in the final regular season standings advance to the 2012 OAC Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The team, along with Heidelberg’s women’s basketball team, will officially kick off the 2011-12 season tonight with Hoopapalooza at Seiberling Gymnasium in Tiffin, Ohio. Fans can meet the teams, take in dunk and three-point shooting contests and have a chance to win $300. The first 75 fans to sign up with receive a free 6th Man Club t-shirt. Admission is free.