WATERTOWN, Wis. – For the Men's Basketball team, the 2015-16 season was a continuation of the program's recent progress, as the Sabercats displayed teamwork and sharpness to finish the season at 13-13. The schedule was no "walk in the park", and included a 10-2 home record and a difficult away schedule that featured regional giants Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Trinity International, and MSOE.
With 13 players returning to the team along with six promising rookies, the Sabercats will look to make further improvements on their momentum from recent years, which includes 40 wins in the last three seasons.
The Sabercats are slated to participate in the NCCAA North Region for this coming year, which consists of the following teams that the Sabercats will face during the season:
- Faith Baptist (Iowa) – 12/10 at 4:00 PM
- Moody Bible Institute – 1/28 at 3:00 PM and 2/16 at 7:00 PM
- Providence University College – 2/4 at 7:00 PM
Head coach Keith Salscheider offered his thoughts on the new alignment: "We are very excited about this move for a variety of reasons, most of which we are now competing with schools in our new region that are similar in size, athletic philosophy and athletic department policy."
(read more about the seven-team regional alignment here)
Other key points in the season for the Sabercats will come in February, when they play four home games in a Saturday-to-Saturday stretch.
One game that excites Coach Salscheider and the team will be against a WIAC perrenial powerhouse in UW-Oshkosh, whom the Sabercats will face in early December. "For the first time in MBU history, we will be hosting a WIAC opponent (UW-Oshkosh) at MBU," said Salscheider. "Last season, UW-Oshkosh was the WIAC post season tournament champion and received an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III National Tournament."
Salscheider embraces the challenge of competing against teams from higher divisions. Two of which will be NCCAA DI opponents Judson and Trinity Internationl. "We will also host two very competitive NAIA teams from the CCAC; Judson and Trinity International University, both athletic scholarship schools," remarked Salscheider. The Sabercats will face Judson on February 11th and Trinity International on the 14th.
NCCAA North Regional Tournament
The Sabercats will host the 2016-17 NCCAA North Regional Tournament, which will decide the winner of the newly-formed North Region.
The event will be held Thursday-Saturday, February 23-25 in the MBU Gymnasium.
"We are looking forward to hosting the NCCAA North Region Post-Season Tournament for the 16-17 season," commented Salscheider. "It will be a great experience for our players and fans. Hosting is an advantage for any home team and it will be no different for MBU. We are excited about every home game that we can play in front of our fans."
Players to Watch
Zach Terpstra steps into the role of captain, has been a consistent performer on the court, and averaged 9.7 points per game in 2015-16 which was second-best on the team for the season. Terpstra also registered 122 rebounds and 17 blocks last year.
Clayton Morrison led the team in boards with 160 total last year, and ranked 6th in the AD3I in that category. From the point guard position, Morrison notched 93 assists during the 2015-16 season while adding 136 points.
Wes Wagner will feature for his final season, as the Texan has averaged 6.4 points per game since transferring from Beloit College after the 2014 season. Wagner has grabbed 210 boards during his Sabercat tenure, and will look to punctuate his career with a solid senior season.
From Coach Keith
"As a coaching staff, there are so many things we look forward to with each new season, but here are two things that top the list. First, it is exciting to watch our new recruits and returning players grow as followers of Christ, as adults, and learn how to be better basketball players and teammates. Secondly, we as a coaching staff enjoy assessing our unique team strengths and weaknesses and creating the corresponding adjustments to our defense, transition, offense and overall style of play that will put the highest number of our players in situations where they could be the most successful."
"One of the aspects to basketball that we as a coaching staff have overemphasized this year is that there are no small or less important jobs on the team; every task is of equal importance. Our guys have been buying into this and are accepting their roles on the team."
"I am very excited about [this year's] schedule! We have an extremely tough schedule for this coming season and I am hoping this challenge will help us to continue to develop our program to become competitive at an NCCAA national level."
The Sabercats will open play on Tuesday, November 15th when they host Emmaus Bible College at 5:00 PM.
For more on the Men’s Basketball team including all-time records, player profiles, a complete schedule, and more, visit the team's page