2022-23 Men’s Basketball Season Preview

Posted on November 10th, 2022 by

SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s basketball team is ready to tip off its 2022-23 season Friday night at home against UW-River Falls and will do so under new leadership. After nine seasons as an assistant coach for the Gusties, Justin DeGrood took over the helm in March and will make his head coaching debut tomorrow at Gus Young Court. And fans can expect to see a new brand of Gustie basketball this season.

“Visually and systematically we will play a faster pace of play on both sides of the ball,” DeGrood said. “To the casual eye, we will look more aggressive. There are overlaps in what people have come to expect with our program with an unselfish brand of basketball and a pass-first mentality of sharing the ball. That is very much still there but shows it’s head in different ways. Now we are going to be a more perimeter-oriented offense, which fits our personnel and I also think fits recruiting.”

Not only will the coaching be different, but the player personnel will also see a major change from a year ago after losing 85 percent of the statistical production. Four of the five top scorers from last year are gone, opening the door for unfamiliar faces to step into the spotlight.

“We have guys who are excited about elevated roles,” DeGrood said. “Last year, we were most times the biggest group on the floor. We had a lot of versatile size. That is not our group this year, and that’s fine, it just means we have to play a little bit differently.”

Jake Guse (Sr., Waseca), Evan Wieker (Jr., St. Michael), and Spencer Swanson (So., Waconia) have been selected captains of the team, who represent a leadership group comprised of the senior, junior, and sophomore classes. Swanson is the team’s top returning scorer after averaging 9.0 points and a team-high 53.4 shooting percentage last season. Guse, standing in at 6-8, will be a defensive presence down low after earning MIAC All-Defensive Team honors two seasons ago. Wieker also brings valuable experience after playing in 23 games last year, averaging 7.3 points and 4.0 rebounds.

“Those three are our hardest working guys,” DeGrood said. “They are talented players as well, but I think what stands out from their peers is that they are constantly leading us in the offseason, weight room, and on the floor. They’re vocal, energetic, and positive. And the beauty of that is they are three of our more experienced players because we do lack a lot of experience.”

This year’s roster includes eight returners and six newcomers. The Gusties begin the season with two non-conference games – UW-River Falls on Friday and Crown College next Tuesday – before opening MIAC play on Nov. 19 at home against Saint Mary’s.

“There are a lot of moving parts right now and for us we spend a lot of time talking to our guys about getting closer to the finished product we want to be at the end of the year,” DeGrood said. “That’s difficult in November without having played a game but getting guys experience is going to be a major success for us. We have a lot of guys who haven’t played a lot of meaningful minutes and they are going to be asked to do that right away.”

2022-23 Roster | 2022-23 Schedule

 

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