The Gustavus men’s basketball team returns four starters from a team that won MIAC regular season and post-season titles and played in the NCAA Tournament a year ago. Despite returning four starters, the Gusties will have a significantly different look due to the graduation of MIAC Player of the Year and NABC All-American Doug Espenson. Espenson averaged 20.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game and brought the ball up the floor for the Gusties. Coach Mark Hanson will look to seniors Adam TeBrake, Trent Hollerich, and John Wippler to provide leadership and toughness to this year’s squad. If this team’s younger players mature as expected, the Gusties look to be in the hunt for a MIAC Playoff spot for the 11th time in the past 12 years.
On the perimeter, the Gusties return senior wings Adam TeBrake and Trent Hollerich, and junior wing Andrew Olson. TeBrake is one of two players on this year’s team (John Wippler is other) that was a member of the 2002-03 squad that advanced to the NCAA Final Four and finished second. He has matured a great deal over the last three years and will be expected to provide this team with perimeter scoring, defensive tenacity, and toughness in big games. An all-conference selection last season, TeBrake averaged 14.6 points per game, while shooting 44.3 percent from behind the arc and 81.5 percent from the free throw line. Unlike TeBrake, Hollerich will not necessarily be relied on to score points, although he is capable. Hollerich’s specialties are defense, ballhandling and rebounding. He passes and sets good screens on the offensive end and plays excellent on-ball and helpside defense and rebounds on the defensive end. The last of the returning trio is sharpshooter Andrew Olson. Olson moved into a starting role last year and played well. Head Coach Mark Hanson and assistant coach Dave Flom, who leads the defense, will be looking to Olson to mature and play more consistently, while continuing to score from the perimeter. Olson averaged 9.4 points per game last season and shot 47.3 percent from three-point range. Others expected to contribute on the perimeter include sophomore wing Trevor Wittwer, sophomore point guard Tyler Kaus, sophomore wing Kane Sivesind, and freshman point guard Mike DesLauriers. Wittwer, who earned MIAC All-Rookie honors, played in all 28 games last season averaging 4.6 points per game. He will likely move into the starting lineup or be the first player off the bench for the Gusties. Kaus and newcomer DesLauriers will compete with Olson and Hollerich at the point. It will take some time for Coach Hanson to determine if the team will use a traditional point guard or divide up the responsibilities like last year when Olson, Hollerich and Espenson shared time bringing the ball up the court and running the offense.
In the paint, Gustavus will be led by senior John Wippler, and juniors Phil Sowden, and Jay Stien. Sowden, an all-conference selection last season, averaged 11.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. He has started 56 consecutive games for the Gusties (every game of his collegiate career). John Wippler has shown signs of being able to score in the paint, and Coach Hanson is hoping that this is the year that he becomes a consistent scorer for the squad. Wippler led the Gusties with 16 points and 10 rebounds in a key win against Carleton last season. Junior Jay Stien, the tallest player on the squad at 6-7, has improved each season, and he is another player that Coach Hanson hopes can mature into a consistent force for the Gusties this year. Sophomore Andrew Doble will also be given the opportunity to compete for playing time. The 6-foot, 6-inch, lefty is a formidable scoring threat, who could provide a spark off the bench.
Once again, head coach Mark Hanson has put together a challenging non-conference schedule to prepare the team for the grueling conference schedule. The non-conference opponents include Bethany Lutheran (11/28), Buena Vista (11/22), Carthage (12/30), Luther (11/19), and Minnesota-Morris (12/9).
School Name: Gustavus Adolphus College
Location: 800 West College Avenue, St. Peter, Minn. 56082-1498
Nickname: Golden Gusties
School Colors: Black and Gold
Gym: Gus Young Court
Affiliation: NCAA Division III
Conference: Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
President: Jim Peterson
Athletic Director: Al Molde (GAC ’66)
Athletic Phone: 507-933-7617
First year of basketball: 1911
All-time play-off record: 42-25
Years in post-season play: 24
Last post-season appearance: 2005 / Result: Lost first round NCAA Tournament game to Lawrence 70-56
All-time record: 1250-869
Sports Information Dir.: Tim Kennedy
SID office phone: 507-933-7647
Home phone: 507-934-2642
SID Fax: 507-933-8412
Press Box phone: 507-933-7668
Head Coach: Mark Hanson
Alma Mater/Year: Gustavus/1983
Record at school (years): 306-110 (15)
Career record: same
Head Coach’s office phone: 507-933-7037
Best time/day to reach coach: 9:30-11:00am
Assistant Coaches: David Flom, Dave Johnson
Player & Team Information
Overall record last year: 22-6
Conference record/finish: 18-2/1st
Letterwinners returning/lost: 9/4
Starters Returning/lost: 4/1
Key Returning Players
Phil Sowden, JR, post, 11.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg All-Conference Team
Adam TeBrake, SR, wing, 14.6 ppg, .815 FT Pct., .443 3pt Pct., 93 A, All Conference Team
John Wippler, SR, post, 2.6 ppg, 2.0 rpg
Trent Hollerich, SR, wing, 3.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 26 Stl
Andrew Olson. JR, wing, 9.4 ppg, .473 3pt Pct., .860 FT pct.
Trevor Wittwer, SO, wing, 4.6 ppg, MIAC All-Rookie Team
Mike DesLauriers, FY, Guard, 6-0, Minnetonka, Minn./ Benilde St. Margaret’s
Robert Schmidt, FY, Guard, 6-2, New Germany, Minn./ Watertown-Mayer
Doug Espenson, graduation, 20.2 ppg, 6,8 rpg, .417 3pt Pct., 43 Stl, 48 Blk — ABCA Second Team All-America, MIAC Player of the Year, MIAC All-Defense Team, Career 1,000 point scorer.