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2018 SLIAC Men's Basketball Tournament Preview

2018 SLIAC Men's Basketball Tournament Preview

At A Glance
This year's St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament will include a battle of defending champions and two newcomers to the field. Westminster College is the two-time defending tournament champion and will face Greenville University, who has won a share of the regular season title in each of the last three seasons, in the opening round. Meanwhile, Eureka College will be making their first postseason trip since 2013 and face Blackburn College, who are making their first trip since 2006.

Tickets are $5 for adults, $2 for children 16 years of age or under and free for students with school I.D. (Children under age of 5 are free).

Tournament Schedule - Hosted by Greenville University
Semifinals - Thursday, February 22
Game 1 - #2 Eureka vs. #Blackburn, 6 p.m.
Game 2 - #1 Greenville vs. #4 Westminster, 8 p.m.

Championship - Saturday, February 24
Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 1 p.m.
Collegecasts Championship Game Broadcast link


Back in the postseason for the first time in over a decade, Blackburn brings a two-game winning streak into the postseason. The Beavers averaged 80.3 points per game on offense this season but it was their defense that sent them to the postseason. The Beavers held opponents to a 44-percent field goal percentage, third lowest in the league while ranking second in three-point percentage defense. Karson Hayes led the team in scoring this year at 14.0 points per game and is coming off a 38 point outing in their tournament bound clinching game last Saturday. Duncan King averaged 13.2 points per game and was first on the team in steals and second in assists. Reed Rusten is the team's top outside threat, knocking down 57 three's this year while averaging 11.5 points. Malcolm Scott provides an inside presence, averaging 10.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game while shooting 58-percent from the floor.


Coach: Steve Kollar
Overall Record:
SLIAC Record: 10-8
Tourn. Titles: 3
Last: 2005

Coaches Corner with Steve Kollar


Eureka is making their first tournament trip since 2013 and is tied with the league's longest active winning streak at five games. The Red Devils average 90.5 points per game and hit on 9.2 three's per outing. They have limited their opponents to just 40-percent shooting this season as well. Their offense flows around Shea Feehan, who is second in the nation in scoring at 30.8 points per game. Feehan not only is dangerous from behind the arch, with 82 made three-pointers, but gets to the free-throw line as well with over 140 attempts this season. Hank Thomas (17.6 ppg) and Dakota Bennington (17.0 ppg) provide secondary scoring options for the Red Devils. Bennington and Jordan Dehm are both averaging over seven rebounds per game while Ryan McElmurry is currently second in the conference in assists with 141. 

Coach: Chip Wilde
Overall Record:
SLIAC Record: 13-5
Tourn. Appearances: 5
Tourn. Titles: n/a
Last: n/a

Coaches Corner with Chip Wilde


For the second straight year, the Panthers will play host to the SLIAC Tournament. Greenville is known nationally for their scoring, setting a new Division III record for combined points in a game earlier this season, and are averaging a nation-high 126.7 points per game this season. The Panthers play fast on both ends, getting off over 100 shots per game on offense and forcing nearly 30 turnovers on defense. A rotation that has ten players in double-digit minutes is led by Johari Dix. Dix is averaging 19.5 points per game while also racking up 5.3 assists and 2.7 steals per game. Sonti Grady is averaging 13.2 points per game while Vari Bonney is a force in the paint, averaging 8.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while shooting 71-percent from the field. Marvin Bateman, a freshman, has stepped right in and is not afraid to shoot; hitting 38-percent of his long-range shots while averaging 12.2 points per game. 

Coach: George Barber
Overall Record:
SLIAC Record: 14-4
Tourn.Appearances: 6
Tourn. Titles: 1
Last: 1998

Coaches Corner with Dr. George Barber


Two-time defending SLIAC Tournament Champion Westminster has dropped their last three games entering the tournament but has the experience necessary to make a run. The Blue Jays became the first seed lower than #2 to win the tournament back in 2016. Westminster is averaging 76.1 points per game this season and commit a league low 10.7 turnovers per game. They have also kept opponents to 75.9 points per game, the lowest average in the SLIAC. Kobe Wands is the team's leading scorer, putting up 20.1 points per game while knocking down 39-percent of his three-point shots. Stu Hollandsworth is the man in the middle, averaging 12.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game while shooting 53-percent from the field. Collin Caywood, averaging 10.7 points per game, can also knock down a deep shot, with a team-high 60 three's this season. Carter Wands leads the team with 126 assists and 56 steals while averaging 6.9 points per game. 

Coach: Matt Mitchell
Overall Record:
SLIAC Record: 10-8
Tourn. Titles: 5
Last: 2017

Coaches Corner with Matt Mitchell



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