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Our preseason Bowdoin preview and some updated thoughts:

bowdoinFeb. 1: BOWDOIN (5-5, 17-8)
 Friday, 6:00 pm (at Bowdoin)
Last year: Middlebury 79-76
Outside of Middlebury’s Ryan Sharry and Joey Kizel, Bowdoin had the best scoring duo in the conference in Will Hanley (18.4 ppg) and Ryan O’Connell (14.2 ppg). Unfortunately for the Polar Bears, both have graduated, and there seems to be a lack of talent behind them. Junior guard Andrew Madinger (9.7 ppg), sophomore guard Bryan Hurley (6.5 ppg) and 7’0” sophomore center John Swords (3.9 ppg, 0.9 bpg) look to be a year away from bringing this team back to relevance. Their season is likely to be a disappointment and a visit from the Panthers will make it even worse.
Prediction: Win
February 1 Addendum: Bowdoin has rebounded from the loss of their two best players far more impressively than we predicted at the beginning of the season, standing at 3-3 in conference and 12-6 overall. Led by a backcourt of the 5’10” Hurley (10.1 ppg, 8.1 apg, 39/39/70 shooting), the 6’3″ Madlinger (14.8 ppg, 45/41/85 shooting), and 6’1″ junior Mat Mathias (8.1 ppg, 46/42/67 shooting), the Polar Bears are third in the conference in field goal percentage and second in field goal percentage allowed. They have replaced Hanley with an effective trio of forwards in 6’6″ Keegan Pieri (13.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg,  50/40/86 shooting), 6’10” Max Staiger (7.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.3 bpg 50% FG), and the 7’0″ Swords (5.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.1 bpg 60% FG). Thus, Bowdoin presents a unique challenge defensively because of Hurley’s ball-distribution and the multitude of weapons with which he is surrounded. We expect James Jensen, who has made his mark of late, to get big minutes against Pieri, while Nolan Thompson will be called upon to shut down either Hurley or Madlinger. Those two Panthers have been central in the team’s overall recent defensive surge; over the last five games, Middlebury has held opponents to an average of 28 points per game under their respective season averages.  On offense, the key will be executing early, as Middlebury might not be able to afford a slow start against a solid Bowdoin team that is 7-1 at home.
Injury watch: In addition to the already-sidelined Dean Brierly, Nate Bulluck, and Dylan Sinnickson, both Joey Kizel and Peter Lynch injured their ankles vs. Keene State on Tuesday. Lynch returned to the game, while Kizel did not. As of a few hours before game time, we heard that it is likely Kizel plays, while Lynch’s status is still up in the air. Last season, Kizel had 26 points on 8-13 shooting vs. the Polar Bears.


  1. wrote:

    Guys- pretty much a nice call on your Polar Bear analysis. Hurley’s lack of size spelled doom when JeffB. and the staff chose him to be the recipient of Nolan’s handcuffs. When the triggerman is broken down, the ‘O’ goes ‘ka-lump! Another terrific job by Nolan T. Note likewise that ‘Lugnut’ and his pals at Colby gave Williams a run for their money tonite but came up short. Maker’s boys, not Maker, may have been looking past them to Bowdoin. But know that our guys aren’t looking past tomorrow. That has been one of JeffB.’s great strengths- one game at a time. We’re better and can push the tempo to a level where Colby doesn’t have enough moving parts to grind out the ‘W’. Midd finishes the Maine trip by DD’s. Next week we’ll talk about Amherst, who might have a game with Tufts, manana. Clubbo.

    Friday, February 1, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Permalink
  2. wrote:

    Great point- It is really amazing how Coach Brown keeps the team focused through the long and often lackluster schedule. A testament to the attitudes of the guys on the team as well. Re: Nolan’s defense: night in, night out, just remarkable. Jack and James also played very well tonight.

    Friday, February 1, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

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