MSOE (2009-10: 17-10, 10-6 NAC) vs. Milwaukee (2009-10: 20-14, 10-8 Horizon)
Exhibition, Monday 7 p.m., Klotsche Center
Milwaukee, WI – Tonight’s match-up with the MSOE Raiders will be the first game of the year for both programs. It marks the first men’s basketball game since 2003 to be played in the Klotsche Center, one of three games this season.
The Panthers will be the fourth Horizon League program to play an exhibition game, with Butler, Detroit and Valparaiso all cruising to victories in their first intercollegiate match-ups of the 2010-11 season.
As for the Panthers, they will be taking on MSOE. The Raiders come into the game picked to finish second in the NAC South division, trailing only Concordia-Chicago. The Raiders finished 17-10 a year ago.
MSOE will be paced by senior Austin Meier from Oshkosh West. Meier, a 6’4”, 210 lb. forward, averaged 16.4 points and 8.6 rebounds a season ago to pace the Raiders. Ten points if you can guess his major.
Gone from the MSOE program are Jeremy Off (14.7 ppg, 8.5 rpg), Luke Larson (9.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg) and Austin Kearns (1.73 A/TO ratio). All three started last season.
The only returning starter besides Meier is Bennett Deacon, a 6′, 185 lb. senior who plied his trade in high school at Burlington Catholic Central. The Raiders will likely get a boost from Rob Linzmeier (4.5 ppg), who prepares to enter the starting lineup after spending last season as the sixth man.
MSOE is a program that has decent size for a D-III school; the Raiders will trot out a lineup that features six players standing 6’6” or taller, a roster that is comparable in size to Marquette.
Fun fact: The Raiders also made a foreign trip this year, spending August 25-30 in the Dominican Republic. Rumor has it they played three future Yankees.
Player to watch: I’ll be interested to see freshman Nate Gibson, a 6’9” 290 lb. behemoth from Wisconsin Dells. He’ll provide a great size body for Ant Hill and our other forwards and centers to post up on.
Prediction: The Panthers should coast to a twenty-point victory. Look for multiple sets, but not as much tinkering as in years past because we’ve already had four exhibition contests.