2008-2009 Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix Basketball Preview
Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix -
2007-08: 15-15, 9-9, 4th
2007-08 postseason: none
It seems like Wisconsin Green Bay and Coach Tod Kowalczyk are always one year away from great things. However, a few bad breaks here and there and the Phoenix end the year disappointed. The 2007-2008 season was no different and the 2008 off-season has the expectations rising once again. Will this be the year the team finally breaks through and puts together a consistent winning campaign? The talent is there to do so, but it was last year too…and the year before that and the year before that.
Who’s Out for the Phoenix:
Yet, with all five starters return, maybe this really will be the year. Tevah Morris earned a few starts during his senior campaign, but averaged less than ten minutes per game. Guards D’Angalo Jackson and Uriel Segura are transferring after seeing limited action last season.
Who’s In for Wisconsin-Green Bay:
The newcomers are talented enough to provide some depth off the bench and increase the overall toughness on the roster. Jesse Childs has the experience after playing two years at Mesa Community College. The 6-3 combo guard will either be a solid backup point guard or a two guard who can also handle the ball and create shots for himself. Either way he will provide some quality depth on the perimeter. So will Brent Eaton. The 6-5 swingman is a superb shooter and will immediately be a sharpshooter off the bench. It might take some time for the Middlebury, Indiana product to adjust to the level of competition, not to mention the switch from Yoder cheese to Wisconsin cheese, but the rims are still ten feet high in Amish country and Eaton will certainly knock down his fair share of long balls as a freshman. Chop Tang’s versatility, toughness and neat name will make him a fan favorite. The 6-7 forward, who spent two years at the junior college level, can battle in the paint and step outside and hit the jumper.
Who to Watch:
Mike Schachtner might not be the most intimidating 6-9 forward around, but he gets the job done. The sharpshooter knocked down over 45 percent of his shots from beyond the arc last season and led the team with 15.8 points per game. He is not a great rebounder, but he will use his size to help out on the glass. Most of the rebounding will be done by fellow forwards Terry Evans and Randy Berry. Evans is only 6-5, but he makes up for his size with his hustle. Not only will Evans put up some decent numbers in the scoring column and grab plenty of rebounds, but he is also a superb defender and led the team in steals and blocks during the 2007-2008 campaign. Berry is the more traditional big man who will hang out in the paint and use his 6-9, 225 pound frame to clear space in the paint. Ryan Tillema might be listed as a guard, but at 6-8, he does not look like one. Tillema and Evans started on the wings last year and should again this year. That size is a huge advantage for the Phoenix. Tillema is the most prolific shooter on the team and defending him is a huge problem for most shorter wings.
Final 2008-2009 Wisconsin-Green Bay Projection:
The biggest problem last year was with the turnovers. Rahmon Fletcher proved to be a solid scorer and distributor during his freshman campaign, but with that experience he has to keep the turnovers down and the team under control. If that happens, UWGB will be a force in the Horizon League. If it does not, the Phoenix will once again be another year away from big things.
Projected Postseason Tournament: none
2008-2009 Wisconsin-Green Bay Projected Starting Five:
Rahmon Fletcher, Sophomore, Guard, 10.1 points per game
Ryan Tillema, Senior, Guard, 12.5 points per game
Terry Evans, Senior, Forward, 9.6 points per game
Mike Schachtner, Senior, Forward, 15.8 points per game
Randy Berry, Junior, Forward, 7.0 points per game
By Joel Welser
CollegeSports-fans.com Senior Basketball Writer
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