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More D3 Basketball

D3: Wittenberg Preview

By Mike Zink


September 18th

The Wittenberg Tigers continued their dominance as one of the most prolific Division III menís basketball programs on the planet with still another perfect 16-0 run through the NCAC. The Tigers finished with an impressive 24-5 record overall and a number five ranking in the nation thanks to an incredible 20 game winning streak after starting the season with a 4-5 mark. With conference wins over rivals Wooster (26-4), Ohio Wesleyan (19-7) and Ohio Northern (19-8) the Tigers proved they have the most successful program in D-III history.

The Tigers remain untouchable in D-III with 1,482 wins overall, and have a record of 56-28 in NCAA D-III Tournament action between 1959-74. They won the national title in the old College Division in 1961.

The Tigers under head coach Bill Brown have a combined record of 250-62 since taking over at the start of the 1993-94 season. During that time coach Brown has led his Tigers to six North Coast Athletic Conference championships and three NCAC titles and seven NCAA D-III tournament appearances. In Brownís first year with the Tigers finished the regular season with a 30-2 record overall and their first ever unbeaten season going 24-0 and finishing third in the national tournament.

The Tigers returned to the dance at the end of the 1995-96 season after winning the NCAC regular season with a 26-5 record. They lost the sectional championship game against Hope College 69-60.

Brown has led the Tigers to three of the last four NCAC regular season titles including the teamís second perfect conference record last season

The Tigers open the 2004-05 season against the Whittier Poets (CA.) (17-8) on November 19th at the Washington University Tip-off Tournament

The Tigers lost one of their most potent offensive threats when they said good-bye to senior forward Peter Walker at the end of last season. Walker started all 29 games for the Tigers in 2003-04 leading the way with 14.2 ppg game and finishing second overall with 6.3 rebounds. Walker also finished his senior campaign with 44 assists, 18 steals, and 15 blocked shots. Walker added his name to the record books by scoring over 1,000 points as a Tiger.

The Tigers also bid a fond farewell to senior guard Rod Emmons who had a disappointing season offensively ranking fifth in scoring for the Tigers with 8.0 ppg after ranking among the best in the nation in three-point accuracy as a sophomore. Emmons made up for his lack of offense by leading the team with 24 steals and 3.3 rebounds per game.

The Tigers return a veteran core of players who have seen action in at least 18 games last season with at least 8 minutes per contest.

Senior Brett Bowen, 6-0 returns to action after missing the entire 2003-04 season with a broken foot suffered early in the preseason. Before being sidelined for his junior season Brett averaged 2.4 ppg while grabbing 1.3 boards per contest.

After suffering a broken hand during a preseason game junior guard Danny Brywczynski (6-0) proceeded to break the school record for three-point shooting percentage (.492) and leading the team in assists with 46 in just his second year as a starter.

The Tigers look to continue their assault on the record books this year with returning seniors Kenny Molz (5-10), Brywczynski, and Andy Bucheit (6-3). Molz ended the season behind Brywczynski in assists with 41 ALONG with 20 steals and Andy Bucheit led the team in three-pointers with 44.
The junior corps is made up of Kenny Brady (6-5) and Daniel Russ (6-9) both of which had break-out seasons as sophomores. 
Both were named second-team all-conference choices in their first year as starters for the Tigers. Dane Borchers (6-7) forward came on strong after missing his freshman season with a back injury.  He came off the bench last season to score 5.8 points and grab 3.8 rebounds in just over 13 minutes per game.

The sophomore guard tandem
of Billy Bowen averaged 3.1 ppg and 42 percent from beyond the arc. Point guard Pat Denbow (6-0) added 26 points in 20 games coming off the bench.  Forwards Mark Huelsman (6-5) and Jack Hemenway (6-5) played key roles for the Tigers in limited action for the Tigers.






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