#101 American University Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

American University Eagles

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #101
Conference Rank: #1 Patriot

American Team Page#101 American University Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy American Basketball Tickets

American had low expectations heading into the 2013-2014 campaign, but Coach Mike Brennan did a fantastic job during his first year at the helm. The team got off to a slow start through a relatively tough non-conference slate, but this team was ready to play by January. It was on December 29th when the Eagles began their 11 game winning streak. AU was hot again during the conference tournament and nobody had any luck cracking their defense…until Ohio State in the NCAA Tournament.

2013-14 Record: 20-13, 13-5
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mike Brennan
Coach Record: 20-13 at American U, 20-13 overall

Who’s Out:
In the Princeton offense, it is nice to have a big man who can score and open up space for all of the shooters. For American, that big man was Tony Wroblicky. He averaged 12.2 points and a team high 7.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. Wroblicky will be extremely tough to replace, but at least he is the only player needed to be replaced.

Who’s In:
Kevin Panzer is a good place to start when attempting to replace Wroblicky. The 6-9 forward spent three seasons at Nevada and started 30 games during his junior campaign. He has not been a prolific scorer throughout his collegiate career, but he is a threat to step outside and knock down some three-pointers and that will work out very well in Coach Brennan’s offense. Another transfer, Jonathan Davis, will add depth in the paint. He spent a couple years at George Washington but rarely played. With a roster that can already go nine or ten deep, incoming freshmen Alex Paquin and George Langberg will be given the time they need to develop.

Who to Watch:
Darius ‘Pee Wee’ Gardner had a very good debut season for American after transferring in from Stephen F. Austin. He averaged 11.3 points and 4.2 assists per game. He was playing his best basketball during the conference tournament and will ride that momentum towards an even better senior season. On a team that plays great defense and takes smart shots, the point guard deserves much of the credit for keeping everything under control and running smoothly. The other returning starters are Jesse Reed, John Schoof and Kyle Kager. Reed and Schoof are both 6-5 guards who can knock down the long ball with consistency. Reed led the squad with 13.8 points per game and connected on 45.8 percent of his attempts from long range. Schoof will not attack the basket as often as Reed, but he is a superb shooter and knocked down 50.7 percent of his three-point attempts two years ago. Kager, a 6-8, 195 pound senior, earned the starting job last season, but played under 18 minutes per game. He is not going to score much, but he will do the dirty work in the paint.

Final Projection:
The expectations for American have done a 180 in the last year. With four starters returning and a couple of impact transfers, there is no reason to think that this team cannot win the Patriot League and make it back to the NCAA Tournament. There is even some quality depth. Forward Marko Vasic and center Zach Elcano will be asked to help replace Wroblicky’s lost production. With promising sophomore guard Charlie Jones and Jalen Rhea, Coach Brennan may be able to let Gardner, Reed and Schoof take a break every once in a while.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Darius Gardner, Senior, Guard, 11.3 points per game
Jesse Reed, Junior, Guard, 13.8 points per game
John Schoof, Senior, Guard, 11.4 points per game
Kyle Kager, Senior, Forward, 5.8 points per game
Kevin Panzer, Senior, Forward, DNP last season

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 63.1 (323rd in nation, 9th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.1 (7, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 49.0 (9, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.4 (71, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.3 (158, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.9 (46, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.7 (152, 7)
Rebound Margin: 0.7 (166, 3)
Assists Per Game: 14.9 (44, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.1 (307, 10)


See All Top 144 Basketball Previews