FREELAND, MICH.-- The Trine men's basketball team was picked to finish third in the MIAA by the conference's coaches in the MIAA Preseason Poll, which was released Thursday.
The Thunder received votes totaling 20 points in the poll. Trine has tied for third each of the last three seasons under head coach Brooks Miller. Last season, the Thunder finished 15-11 overall and 8-6 in conference play. The team returns their top three scorers from last season, including First-Team All-MIAA wing Tyler Good (Swanton, Ohio/Evergreen). Several other key pieces of the 2013-14 playing rotation return as well. Calvin was picked by the MIAA coaches as the league favorite after reaching the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division III tournament last season.
Headlining Trine's returners is Good, who averaged a team-best 15.2 points per game on 43 percent shooting during his junior season. Good was also recognized for his work in the classroom as a member of the NABC Honors Court. He is joined by junior forward Jared Holmquist (Reed City, Mich./Reed City), who averaged 12.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per contest last year while providing the Thunder with a solid presence in the paint.
Will Dixon (Indianapolis, Ind./Zionsville) led the MIAA in steals in his freshman campaign, and returns to run the point. Dixon averaged 14.9 points per game last season. Seniors Dustin Hall (Fort Wayne, Ind./South Side) and Jake Bagley (Van Wert, Ohio/Van Wert) also return after seeing time in last season's starting lineup, and figure to be key rotation pieces once again for the Thunder.
One of the keys to success for the Thunder this season will be continuing their hallmarks of solid defense and taking care of the basketball. Trine has finished as one of the top three defensive teams in the MIAA in each of Miller's three seasons at the helm of the Thunder program. Last season, the team led the conference in scoring defense, and finished second in the nation in fewest turnovers per game.
The Thunder will welcome seven newcomers to the program this winter, including four incoming freshman. The team expects the newcomers to challenge for spots and provide further depth to their experienced returning core of players.
A video introducing the Trine roster can be found below.
Trine will travel to Indiana State for an exhibition this Sunday, Nov. 9. The Thunder open the regular-season next Saturday, Nov. 15 at Heidelberg. Tip-off is slated for 5 p.m.