2009–10 Susquehanna University Basketball Preview
Both Susquehanna University basketball teams qualified for the Landmark Conference playoffs last season. The women earned two of the four Landmark yearly awards while placing two players on the all-conference team. The men swept the yearly awards while also claiming two all-Landmark players. This season, both squads will aim for a conference title and a berth in the NCAA Division III championships. For the first time, the 2009–10 Landmark champion will earn an automatic invitation to the national tournament.
Men’s basketball barely missed an at-large invitation to the Division III championships last season. They posted an overall record of 18–8, including a nail-biting 80–75 overtime loss at The University of Scranton in the Landmark championship game. This season, the men will have to offset some key losses from the team, including guard/forward Joel Patch ’09, last season’s Landmark Player of the Year and a finalist for the Division III Player of the Year award. Patch averaged double-figures in both points per game (ppg) and rebounds per game (rpg) in 2008–09.
Also gone are two other starting guards: Matt McDevitt ’09 and center Rob Cosgrove. McDevitt and Cosgrove averaged 9.2 and 8.8 ppg, respectively, last season.
However, guard and fan favorite Spenser Spencer ’12, of Seattle — the 2008–09 Landmark Rookie of the Year—is back. Spencer ranked fourth for three-pointers in the conference last year and averaged 13.6 ppg while earning all-Landmark honors.
Guard Bryan Majors ’10, of Harrisburg, Pa.—the reigning Landmark Defensive Player of the Year—is also back. Majors led the conference by a wide margin last season in both steals and assists.
The SU men led the conference in rpg and field-goal-percentage defense in 2008–09.
The women lost just one starter from a team that went 16 10 overall and ended its season with a 60–51 loss to Scranton in the Landmark semifinals.
Libby Shober, the 2008–09 Landmark Rookie of the Year, and her team-leading 10.2 ppg and 7.4 rpg are gone, but the team graduates no seniors from last season’s squad and welcomes back all-conference guard Rachael Hughes ’11, of Gordon, Pa. Hughes averaged 10.0 ppg last season.
Guard Erika Barron ’11, of Tamaqua, Pa., who led the team with 89 assists, 34 three-pointers (the fifth-most in the Landmark) and 35 steals, is also back, as are forward Jennifer Butts ’12, of Frackville, Pa., and Ashley Watkins ’10, of La Habra Heights, Calif.
Butts and Watkins averaged 8.0 and 7.6 ppg, respectively, in 2008–09 to rank third and fourth on the team.
SU women’s basketball led the conference in field-goal percentage in 2008–09 and ranked second in field-goal percentage defense.
Contributing writers to Scoreboard are Robert Edward Healy III, Kelly Stemcosky ‘11 and Justin Lutes.