The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

New season, new faces

Grinnell Women’s Basketball is looking to build off a 4-19 season last year with a revamped team that includes seven first years. 

“So far we have been working towards [improving this year] with our preseason preparation being a lot stronger this year than it was last year,” Coach Gluckman said.

Although the team has only lost shooting guard Jody Watkins ’09 to graduation, the team almost doubled in size with the addition of the first years. Since the team is so young, the first years are a vital component to the team and have already been included as such. 

“Our team atmosphere is very welcoming and our first years have already found a home within our program,” Gluckman said.

Though they will also face the challenge of being forced to rely heavily on first years. 

“This year our team is relying pretty strongly on the first years since they are about half of the team,” Forward Jessica Shotts ’10 said. “We are going to need a lot of them to play some minutes.”

The freshman class includes four guards, two centers and a forward, giving the team far more balance than in previous years. 

“We will have an inside and outside presence this year, and so one of our strengths will be our versatility,” Gluckman said. 

The Women’s Basketball team has also adopted a new style of offense. 

The new style “requires athletes to be very smart on the court, and should be something that will fit in well with the student athletes on our team, but [it is a] slight switch in mentality,” Gluckman said. 

Despite the excitement over the new offense, Coach Gluckman still believes that defense will be the key to the team’s success. 

“Our biggest challenge by far will be in sustaining a relentless and aggressive defense,” Gluckman said.

The Grinnell Women’s Basketball team will begin the season on the road against Cornell College on Nov. 15, followed soon after by their first home matches against Buena Vista University on Nov. 20 and then against Martin Luther College on Nov. 21.

Men’s Basketball at Grinnell over the last few years has played to outstanding success including advancing to conference finals last year.  This year however, the team will be debuting several new players in order to continue their tradition of producing one of the most potent offenses in NCAA basketball.

“We’d like to win our conference and lead the country in scoring and three-point shooting,” Head Coach David Arseneault said. “The key to this will be developing team chemistry and amping up our defensive effort so we can better create scoring opportunities.”

That said, team co-captain Ross Preston ’10 can’t wait until the season gets underway. 

“I’m most excited to continue playing in the ‘system’ and exciting the crowds, home or away,” Preston said.

The “system” began under Arsenault and relies on three-point shooting and turnovers to rack up a high number of points.  The key is trading two points for three.  In addition, substitutes are handled hockey style with multiple players coming on and off in order to keep the players on the floor as fresh as possible.

The team has lost several key contributors to their success over the past four years. 

“We lost three players, David Arseneault [’09], John Grotberg [’09] and Bobby Long [’09], who combined to score 7000 career points. We also lost two valuable role players—Ahmed Idrissa [’09] and R.J. Roewe [’09],” Arseneault said. 

In lieu of these graduated players, Grinnell’s basketball team has added eight first years including forward Griffin Lentsch ’13, their top prospect, and must now develop these new players. 

“The first years have been playing like first years. Lots of ups and downs. But they are a talented group who will eventually figure things out,” Arseneault said. 

Captain Preston also emphasized his faith in the new players. 

“Our new freshmen are an integral part to our success this year and I think the campus will be getting to know them soon,” Preston said.

Arsenault plans on stressing the Pioneers’ advantage in games—their athleticism and their overall size. However, perhaps even more importantly they will need to overcome their greatest flaw. 

“Our weakness is our propensity for turning the ball over,” Arseneault said. 

The men’s team will need to develop their first years and solve their turnover problem quickly in order to stay competitive both in and out of conference play. 

“The non-conference schedule is the toughest we have ever had. Past championship teams would have struggled with this schedule,” Arseneault said. 

Finally, the wait for the “system” will soon be over, as the team opens at home versus Waldorf College, a team who defeated Grinnell on the road last year 117-106, at 3 p.m on Sunday, Nov. 15.

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