Misericordia Men Expected to Contend
Wyalusing Valley graduate Trevor Woodruff begins his eighth season as Misericordia University men’s basketball coach on Tuesday, Nov. 15, as the Cougars host Centenary at home in the Anderson Center.
The Cougars hope to improve on last year’s 15-12 campaign that included appearances in the Freedom Conference and ECAC South tournaments.
Misericordia was recently picked to finish second in the Freedom Conference in pre-season balloting by the league’s coaches.
“Our goals are the same as every year,” Woodruff said in the team’s media guide. “We want to compete for the Freedom Conference. We think we are among the top four teams in the conference which would put us in the post-season and give us a chance to win a championship.”
One reason the Cougars should be conference contenders is the return of 2011 team MVP and All-Freedom first-teamer Ethan Eichhorst.
Eichhorst, a forward, averaged 19.2 points per game last season.
“We have high expectations for him,” Woodruff said. “We will run much of our offense through him.”
Eichhorst, a senior, is on track to pass the 1,000-point career mark during the Cougars’ first couple home games. He needs just 27 points to hit the milestone.
Besides the Centenary home opener, Misericordia will host Baptist Bible, Arcadia and Marywood on Nov. 18-19 in the annual McCarthy Tire Laurel Line Tournament.
Joining Eichhorst as co-captain is Jeff Slanovec, a senior guard. Sophomore guard Matt Greene also returns.
Slanovec averaged 12.4 points last season and will be the team’s outside scoring threat, based on 62 three-point field goals last year.
Greene, who had over eight points and two assists per game last year, is expected to be the playmaker for Woodruff.
Sean Bieski, the team’s sixth-man last year, is expected to move into a starting spot as the third guard. A junior, he had 7.6 points and 3.6 rebounds off the bench for the Cougars last season.
Junior forward Steve Artzerounian is expected to complete the starting five. Before being sidelined by injury last season, he averaged 8.4 points and 6.9 rebounds.
“He has the ability to be a dominant player,” Woodruff said.
The rest of the returnees include Chris Undersinger, Jerry Reilly, Robbie Donohue, Brandon Stone and Garry Melville.
Senior transfer Justin Grotevant is expected to provide depth on the front line.
The recruiting class includes Joe Busacca, Jared Butala, Dylan Grotevant, Anthony Sergio, Cole Weber, Kevin Foy, Patrick Widdoss, Matt Yaich and Cael Evans.
Busacca is expected to contribute off the bench as Greene’s backup.
Woodruff believes this is one of the deepest rosters in his eight years at the Cougars’ helm.
After the Laurel Line Tournament, where they open with Baptist Bible on Nov. 18, the Cougars will also have home games with Manhattanville (Dec. 3), Albright (Dec. 7), Lebanon Valley (Dec. 18), DeSales (Jan. 18), Delaware Valley (Jan. 21), FDU-Florham (Jan. 28), Wilkes (Feb. 1), Eastern (Feb. 8) and King’s (Feb. 14).