Making an impact


With a new basketball season quickly approaching, it’s time for players to prove to the coach, and to themselves, that they are ready to step up and contribute.

For head coach Brian Hammel’s squad, three players will have to improve their game after missing out on the team’s second place finish in the Mid-Continent Conference last season.

Marlin Simms, Jamal Robinson and Peter Rohlwing were all red-shirted last season and have come back this year to help make an impact on a team that could surprise a few people this year.

With the absence of 6-foot-8-inch center Randy Fens (last years team MVP) and 6-foot-3-inch guard David Mitchell this year, the Huskies have lost two of their floor leaders. Hammel is expecting his new crop of young recruits to step in and take the team to new heights.

This includes making a better showing at the Mid-Con tourney this year.

The benefits that come with a second place finish include the reward of playing the No. 7 seed in the conference, in this case, lowly Valparaiso. A cakewalk, right?

Not for Hammel’s squad.

With the addition of Simms, Robinson and Rohlwing, the Huskies are bigger and tougher and will once again dominate on the boards.

Always a good rebounding team (first in offensive rebounds and rebounds per game last year), Robinson is known as a terror on the boards while Rohlwing and Simms add even more threat for Huskie second chances.

How this trio will fare in the Mid-Con remains to be seen, but one thing is certain, they will get their playing time. Hammel has said on several occasions that everyone will receive a fair amount of playing time in the two pre-season games the Huskies will host before the regular season starts on Nov. 27.

“Everyone has an opportunity to get some considerable playing time,” Hammel said. “Who will get more playing time than another I’m not sure. It’s going to be very competitive to get playing time this year.”