Michigan Tech Game Notes (PDF)
GLIAC/GLVC Challenge Games 1 & 2
Saturday 6 p.m. vs UW-Parkside • Sunday 4 p.m. vs Lewis • SDC Gym (3200)
Michigan Tech (0-0) hosts UW-Parkside (0-0) and Lewis (0-0)
Radio: WKMJ 93.5/WMPL 920 (Mitch Lake)
Video Stream: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/mtu/
Audio Stream: Pasty.net
Live Stats: http://www.michigantechhuskies.com/sports/mbkb/2017-18/schedule
2016-17 YEAR IN REVIEW
Michigan Tech is getting set to start the 98th season in program history Saturday night at the SDC Gymnasium. The Huskies closed season 97 with an overall record of 16-14 and tied for second in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference North Division Standings thanks to a 13-8 mark against league opponents. Tech advanced to the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals with a 92-84 win in the quarterfinals against Wayne State. The Huskies nearly pulled off an upset against Ferris State in the GLIAC Final Four, but fell 79-71 on the road. Tech has reached the tournament semifinals in six of the past nine seasons. The Huskies will have a great deal of experience to build this year's team on with four of five starters returning for 2017-18. Three of the four players averaged 13.1 or more points per game.
Junior forward Kyle Monroe was the leading scorer for Tech a year ago at 20.1 points per game and will be counted on to help power the offense again this season. Monroe was a 1st Team All-GLIAC selection along with being named to the CCA All-Region 2nd Team and NABC All-District 2nd Team. Monroe made 48.8% of his shots from the field and grabbed 7.2 rebounds per contest. Monroe has already surpassed 1,000 career points and enters the season with 1,027 total career points. He is a GLIAC Preseason All-Conference selection for the second year in a row. Joining Monroe in the front court this season will be senior forward A.J. Grazulis, who started all 30 games for the Huskies last year. Grazulis knocked down nearly 60% of his shots from the field and averaged seven points per game with an additional 3.5 rebounds per contest. At the guard position junior Bryan Heath is back after pouring in just over 13 points per game as a sophomore last year. Heath is also the team's top returning free throw shooter, cashing in on 88.8% of his looks at the charity stripe in 2016-17. Sophomore Tommy Lucca will be back at point guard following a breakout freshman season that saw him named 2nd Team All-GLIAC and GLIAC Freshman of the Year. Lucca was the second leading scorer for the Huskies last year with a 15.7 points per game scoring average. He also paced the team in assists by dealing out nearly five per contest.
Michigan Tech also added an exciting group of talented freshmen players during the offseason. Elisha Coleman (Minneapolis, Minn.), TeeAaron Powell (Chicago, Ill.), Dawson Bilski (Powers, Mich.), Trent Bell (Negaunee, Mich.), and Kyle Clow (Germantown, Wis.) will look to help the Huskies this upcoming season.
GLIAC PRESEASON POLL
Michigan Tech was picked third in the North Division in the 2017 GLIAC Preseason Poll, which was released in October by the conference office. Ferris State was selected to the top spot with 66 points and 11 first place votes. Lake Superior State was second in the North Division with 51 points followed by Tech at number three. In the South Division, the top three spots are occupied by Ashland at number one with 63 points and eight first place votes followed by Wayne State at number two (58 points) and Saginaw Valley State at number three (46 points).
LAST TIME VERSUS UW-PARKSIDE AND LEWIS
Michigan Tech faced both UW-Parkside and Lewis in the opening weekend of the 2016-17 campaign in the GLIAC/GLVC Challenge which was hosted at Lewis. The Huskies slipped past Lewis in the first game 80-75 in overtime. Lucca and Heath powered Tech with 24 and 23 points respectively. In addition, Lucca grabbed seven rebounds, dished out four assists, and had three steals in his Tech debut. The next day against UW-Parkside, Heath poured in 28 points and grabbed eight rebounds in a 73-66 loss to the Rangers.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
UW-Parkside closed the 2016-17 with an overall record of 22-8 and were nealry unbeatable at home with a 13-1 mark. The Rangers finished GLVC play with a 13-5 record and advanced to the first round of the NCAA Division II tournament where they fell to Bellarmine 72-61. The Rangers lost their top three scorers during the offseason with Chavares Flanigan coming back as their top scorer at 6.5 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. Bret Barclay is a Division I transfer from Southeastern Louisiana. Last season as a team, the Rangers averaged 80.0 points per game.
Lewis enters the 2017-18 season after finishing with a 19-13 record a year ago. The Flyers advanced to the GLVC Tournament Championship game where they fell to Bellarmine 74-61. Lewis returns two of the top three scorers from the club a year ago in Delaney Blaylock and Cristen Wilson. Blaylock averaged 14.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game last season. Wilson was the top rebounder on the club with 7.8 boards per contest while contributing 11.4 points per game. As a team, the Flyers averaged 76.3 points while surrendering 73.1 points per game to opponents.
Kevin Luke, the winningest coach in Michigan Tech basketball history begins his 24th season leading the Huskies in 2017-18. He has earned a plethora of accolades since his appointment as the program's 11th head coach in May of 1994. Luke has guided the Huskies to five Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles, earned eight NCAA Tournament berths and won his 300th game in a 74-72 victory over Grand Valley State on March 2, 2011. He reached the 400 win mark on January 19th with an 83-72 win over Northwood at home. He owns an impressive 407-256 overall record, including a 272-173 mark in conference play. His winning percentage of .614 ranks as the best in Husky hoop annals.
The Huskies will embark on their first road trip of the 2017-18 campaign when they head west to face Southwest Minnesota State and Minnesota State Moorhead Friday and Saturday next weekend. Both games are being played at Moorhead with Tech battling Southwest Minnesota State Friday at 6 p.m. (EST). Saturday's game against Moorhead is slated for 5 p.m. (EST).