2019-20 Men’s Basketball Season Preview

Posted on November 8th, 2019 by

2019-20 Gustavus men's basketball (photo courtesy of SPX Sports)

SAINT PETER, Minn. – With excitement and optimism running high, the Gustavus men’s basketball team begins its 2019-20 campaign Friday night at home against Buena Vista. The Gusties, who were bounced in the first round of the MIAC playoffs last year, are looking to improve with a number of experienced returners and players with increased roles this season.

The potential of this year’s squad is highlighted by the offense. Head Coach Mark Hanson, who is in his 30th season at the helm, believes success will follow if the team is more demanding in its expectations on offense to go along with improvements on the defensive side of the court.

“To grow, we have to have a higher standard of what our execution, shot selection, and pass selection are,” he said. “When we don’t turn it over, we can be pretty good. We haven’t proven that yet, so we need to make those strides.”

Nolan Malo (So., Owatonna) returns the team’s second leading point-scorer from last season, averaging 9.9 points per game during his freshman campaign. Malo, who earned MIAC All First-Year honors, also led the Gusties on the boards with 5.3 rebounds per game. His 52.1 field goal percentage was eighth in the conference.

Logan Rezac (Jr., Andover) returns as the Gusties’ third leading scorer from last season, averaging 8.3 points per game. After playing a sixth-man role last year, Rezac is expected to elevate his status as an all-around player with the ability to score, rebound, and defend. Rezac last season shot 77 percent from the free-throw line, making the second most trips to the charity stripe on the team, and hauled in 4.2 rebounds per game.

Isaac Douglas (Jr., Montevideo) and CJ Woda (Jr., Maple Grove) both started 22 games last year and will be looked upon to be major contributors this season. Douglas averaged 7.0 points and dished out 60 assists – the most of any returner – while Woda shot 51.9 percent from the floor and hauled in 4.7 rebounds per game. Benji Lundberg (So., Ellendale), who saw limited time last season as a guard, will play a larger role this year.

The Gusties will need to fill the roles of last season’s top point-scorer in Riley Sharbono and wing Spencer Tollefson, who both started all but one game last year.

“Graduation and recruiting are just four years apart,” Hanson acknowledged. “If you’re doing both of those appropriately then you’ve got guys that are ready to take on more minutes, more notoriety, more shots, and more is expected of them. I think we have some people that didn’t play a lot last year that aren’t all disappointed that there are different people on the roster this year. They are ready to take over. Some of them may have felt they should have moved into those spots last year.”

Others expected to contribute this season include Marten Morem (So., Caledonia), Peter Lundquist (Jr., Rochester), Kaleb Feahn (Jr., Waseca), and Jake Guse (So., Waseca), who transferred from Minnesota State-Mankato.

“I think we are one of six or seven teams in this league that has the potential to win a conference championship,” Hanson said. “Odds makers would say that two or three teams have a significantly higher potential to do that. Not knowing what injuries will do and maturation of teams, I would hope that we are in a race that if we mature as a team, are more demanding in our decision making, and really every other aspect of the game, that we can be a significant part of that process.”



2018 STATS


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