Feb. 8: TRINITY (10-14, 2-8)
Details: Friday, 6:00 pm (at Middlebury)
Last year: Middlebury 76-47
Trinity returns a very young core, but will be without its top two freshmen from last season, Varum Ram (7.8 ppg) and Carter Trent (7.1 ppg). Those losses will hurt a Trinity team that looked to have the pieces in place for the rebuilding process, and might set back their plan for another year. Expect this one to be about as close as last year’s as Middlebury’s starters get a rest before a much anticipated re-match against the Lord Jeffs the next day.
Feb. 9 Addendum: The Bantams (9-13, 2-6) are the youngest team in the conference (they have just one upperclassmen on the entire team) and have shown their youth this season. Offensively Trinity has been anemic, averaging a conference-worst 62.9 points per game on 41% shooting from the floor and 64.8% from the line while turning the ball over 17 times per game. The Bantams have just one double-digit scorer: Jaquann Starks, a 5’9” freshman who is a threat from beyond the arc (46% from three), but shoots just 43% from the floor and will likely face the toughest matchup of his young career with Nolan Thompson lining up opposite him. Starks is complemented by a developing supporting cast. 6’8” center George Papadeas is the most intriguing of the group, providing Trinity with a jack-of-all-trades off of the bench. In just under 15 minutes per game, Papadeas averages 6.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 0.6 blocks. He will need to neutralize Peter Lynch on the defensive end as Lynch has victimized lesser competition consistently this season.
For the Panthers, the matchup with Trinity is an opportunity for Nate Bulluck and Dean Brierley to work their way back into the rotation after missing consecutive weeks with injuries. The team has missed their minutes and Bulluck’s energy off the bench, in particular, and there is a limited window to reintroduce them into the rotation with a game against Amherst Tuesday and postseason play looming. The game today will also provide Jake Wolfin with a chance to emerge from a season-long shooting slump. While Jake’s scoring statistics are down across the board this season, he has always been a player who will miss several straight shots and then make two or three down the stretch. It would not be surprising if that mentality appears late in the season and Wolfin gets hot at the right time and it would be reassuring to see him begin the turnaround today.
If you can’t make it to the game today, tune into WRMC to hear our broadcast.