2009-10 Calvin Men’s Basketball Preview
Monday, November 02, 2009
Calvin will look to make year two inside the Van Noord Arena as memorable as the first when the Knights captured a 2008-09 MIAA title, finishing 19-8 overall and 12-2 in the MIAA. The league title came despite playing only half of a season inside the state-of-the-art 4,700 seat facility as the Knights did not move in until the first week of January.
Calvin returns two full-time starters and two part-time starters from its MIAA championship team from a year ago headlined by 6-9 senior center John Mantel (Chelsea/Chelsea HS) who garnered first team All-MIAA accolades after averaging 13.6 points and 7.3 rebounds a game while connecting on 48.7 percent of his shots and blocking 35 shots sent up by the opposition. Mantel collected seven double-double efforts a year ago and was named MIAA Player of the Week three times.
Mantel is one of three returning seniors joined by 6-5 wing forward Matt Veltema (Grandville/Calvin Christian HS) and 6-6 power forward Paul Campbell (Alexandria, VA/West Potomac HS).
A lethal outside shooter, Veltema was named to the All-MIAA second team last year despite starting in only four of a possible 27 games. Veltema averaged 12.4 points a game and connected on 48.4 percent (60 of 124) of his three-point attempts. In a 63-62 win over rival Hope on February 11 at Calvin’s Van Noord Arena, Veltema converted the game-winning layup with just two seconds remaining.
Campbell was a role player off the bench last year but provides solid depth at the power forward position.
The junior class features three players with starting experience led by 6-5 shooting guard Danny Rodts ( Niles/Niles HS) who started in 22 games as a sophomore and averaged 8.2 points a game including 12.0 points a game over Calvin’s final five games. Rodts also shot 80 percent (32-of-40) at the free throw line and 55.8 percent (24-of-43) from three-point range. A 5-8 point guard, Trent Salo (Rudyard/Rudyard HS) started in 12 and appeared in all 27 of Calvin’s games last year, averaging 4.1 points and 1.7 assists per game. With former starters Dustin Smith and Caleb Veldhouse now graduated, Salo will compete for full-time point guard duties this season. Brad Schnyders (Hudsonville/Unity Christian HS), a 6-5 wing forward also started in six games last year, averaging 3.1 points a game. Schnyders has good scoring ability and will push for playing time this year.
The member of the junior class includes 6-2 forward Matt Capel (Hudsonville/Unity Christian HS) who holds the distinction of scoring the first-ever basket in a game at the Van Noord Arena, doing so in a junior varsity contest last January.
Rejoining the junior class is 6-10 forward Brent Schuster (Denver, CO/Denver Christian HS) who sat out the 2008-09 season but is back to provide scoring punch and rebounding ability. Schuster has an excellent outside shooting stroke and could be an ace in the hole for the Knights this winter.
The sophomore class includes 6-1 point guard Lane Waters (West Lafayette, IN/Harrison HS) and 6-4 wing forward Brian Haverdink (Holland/Holland Christian HS). Waters saw time on the varsity a year ago as a backup point guard while Haverdink is a solid perimeter player with three-point shooting ability.
The incoming freshmen class is a good one with four freshmen dotting the varsity roster. The four members of the freshmen group on the Calvin varsity include 6-6 forward Adam DeYoung (Hudsonville/Unity Christian HS), 6-4 forward Tom Snikkers (Jenison/Unity Christian HS), 6-5 forward Matt DeBoer (Hudsonville/Covenant Christian HS) and 6-0 guard Bryan Powell (Wyoming/Wyoming Park HS). There are also several freshmen on the Calvin junior varsity this year with strong potential for varsity play in the future.
Calvin will also have the advantage of playing a full season inside the Van Noord Arena as the Knights will play their first four games at home including five of their first eight at the facility.
Calvin averaged over 2,500 fans a game at home last year and finished second nationally in attendance.
Calvin opens its season on November 20 and 21 when it hosts its own Calvin Tip-Off Tournament. Calvin will open against Grace Bible on November 20 with Davenport and Lake Forest filling out the other side of the tournament. In addition, Calvin is scheduled to host Ferris State in an exhibition game on November 10 at the Van Noord Arena,