Friday, October 9th, 2009 - 11:01 am

Basketball Team Previews


Jordon Bruner is Assistant Director of Sports Information, Marketing and Event Management at Purdue University Calumet

Men’s basketball squad positions for success

Purdue Calumet second-year Men’s Basketball Head Coach Dan Voudrie is trying to develop the Peregrines into one of the elite programs in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Division II.

With three returning starters back from last season’s 5-24 squad along with a deep, talented class of newcomers who have impressed Voudrie with their knowledge and understanding of the game, the Peregrines are positioning themselves to do just that.

Lone senior McNeal returns a double-digit scoring average.

Lone senior McNeal returns a double-digit scoring average.

Six-foot-one guard Antonio McNeal (Hammond/Gavit HS), the team’s lone senior, returns a team-high 12.5 scoring average—15+ during the last 10 games. Also back are 6-6 forward Michael Patton (Gary/West Side HS) and 6-0 guard Robert Williams (Gary/West Side HS).

Patton, one of the CCAC Division II’s top rebounders last season, looks to improve on 8.8 scoring and 7.4 rebounding averages after adding 20 pounds to his frame over the summer. Williams contributed 8.4 points and was the Peregrines’ assist leader (80) last season at point guard. But with freshman point guard Aaron Evans (Indianapolis/Roncalli HS), an honorable mention high school all-stater last season, on board, Williams can look forward to more minutes at his more natural shooting guard position.

Among other newcomer headliners are 6-5 Joliet (Ill.) Junior College transfer Neal Hudson (Hobart/Hobart HS) and 6-8 freshman center Eric Summers (Dyer/Lake Central HS).

Williams can play either guard position.

Williams can play either guard position.

Voudrie also has options off the bench. A pair of 6-2 freshman guards, Jordan Champion (Logansport/Logansport HS) and Kedric Williams (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community HS), provide scoring punch and intensity. Six-four freshman forward Mark Sutter (Elkhart/Elkhart Central HS) offers hard-nosed versatility.

Six-six freshman center Kameron Bright (Ft. Wayne/Wayne HS), 6-5 freshman forward Brant Stockamp (Indianapolis/University HS), 6-4 sophomore forward Andy Anderson (Gary/Merrillville HS), 5-9 freshman guard Bo Ray (Ft. Wayne/Wayne HS), 6-4 freshman forward Joel Gotshall (Logansport/Logansport HS) and 6-5 freshman forward Will Schenkel (Huntington/Huntington North HS) provide depth that last season’s team lacked.

Keys to success this season figure to be the team’s ability to improve on a .409 team field goal shooting percentage, rebounding and how quickly the Peregrines’ young talent adapts to college play.

“This team is a great group of young men to be around,” Voudrie said. “The bounce and energy they have for life is contagious. Many of them have the right type of chip on their shoulder to prove that they should not have been overlooked by other colleges.”

Purdue Calumet will be tested early and often this season. The Peregrines will face nine opponents that received votes in the NAIA Division II’s 2008-09 final national poll.

Women’s BB team on the rise

After making impressive improvement strides last season, the Purdue Calumet women’s basketball team hopes a potent, up-tempo offense will result in more of the same during 2009-10.

With three of their top four scorers back from a 2008-09 squad that topped the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Division II in team scoring (75.2 average) and jumped from 7-24 to 12-18 in the won-lost ledger, the women’s Peregrines are excited about the direction their program is heading.

Third-year Head Coach Tom Megyesi hopes to capitalize on the talented depth his veterans and newcomers provide as the Peregrines look forward to continuing their climb up the ranks of CCAC-II after finishing fourth with a 5-5 mark last season.

“Our overall team speed and depth will provide us the opportunity to finish games strong,” Megyesi said.

Returning All-CCAC II point guard Harris distributed 146 assists during 2008-09.

Returning All-CCAC II point guard Harris distributed 146 assists during 2008-09.

The strength of the team figures to be in its guard play, featuring junior all-conference returnees Jennifer Britton (St. John/Lake Central HS) and MeMe Harris (Merrillville/Merrillville HS). Sharpshooter Britton, one of the CCAC’s top three-point threats, led the conference last season with 87 trifectas and knocked down an impressive 42.2 percent of her long-range attempts while averaging 12 points a game. As one of the conference’s top point guards, Harris was second in the conference in assists last season with 146 and eclipsed the 10-assist plateau in three games.

Also back in the backcourt are sophomores Stephaine Beck (Mishawaka/Mishawaka HS) and Nicci Desimone (Elkhart/Elkhart Memorial HS). Beck led all conference freshmen in scoring with a 12.6 average and ranked third in CCAC-II with 58 three-point field goals. Desimone contributed a 6.7 scoring mark and 55 total assists. Another experienced returnee is sophomore point guard Krystal Coleman (St. John/Lake Central HS).

Beck led all conference freshmen in scoring last season.

Beck led all conference freshmen in scoring last season.

Up front, the team’s lone senior, 6-0 Sara Keilman (Hammond/Morton HS), returns in the middle after averaging 6.2 points and 6.0 rebounds last season.

Megyesi also is counting on talented newcomers for help this season. They include a pair of 5-8 guards, Tierra Turner (Merrillville/Merrillville HS) and Alex Starr (Plymouth/Plymouth HS), and 5-10 front liner Amanda Gaskin (Pendleton/Pendleton Heights HS).









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