Coach’s Column: Men’s Basketball
Chris Martin (TheLorian)
We are just about two weeks from our first game and the team is ready! We are hoping and expecting for a big year from our program. After finishing third in the ARC a year ago, and returning all five starters, including three all-conference players, we are expecting another successful season.
Seniors Rowan McGowen and Cole Navigato both decided early last season that they would return to have a full and proper last season together. Rowan has already scored 1,000 points, been a first team all-league player twice, and is the all-time leader of three pointers made here at Loras. Rowan is working part time at a bank in town and is a full time Graduate Student in our Applied Analytics Program. He is managing being a leader on and off the court, along with being a student and holding a job!
Navigato is coming back to Loras for a second major in the business field after majoring in Sports Management the past four years. He is a first team all-league player and led the ARC in rebounds per game a year ago. Navigato is our vocal leader and lead by example attitude!
Our program returns one other all conference player, sophomore Jake Healy! Healy is nursing an injury, but we are hoping for a return before conference play. In the off-season, the program has added a number of transfers and one that is poised to make a huge impact is Ali Sabet from Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, IL. Sabet was not highly recruited out of high school, but he has proven to be a prolific scorer at the college level. He averaged over 25 points per game last season as a combo guard at Oakton and we expect him to be a large part of our success this season.
The ARC has proven to be one of the best leagues in the country over the past five seasons. We know that if we are one of the best teams in our league, we are one of the best teams in the nation. The conference will be stacked again this year with many players from many top teams deciding to take their extra year of eligibility and return for one more season. This year, we anticipate the ARC being as deep and competitive as any year in recent history.
As a program we want to give a shout out to our support staff, managers, student coaches, and analytics interns. Andrew Kickel, Jon Kreidler, Luke Cunningham, Hunter Rickels, and Nick Reiter are the best in the business. While their name never shows up in the stat column or score book, they are as important to our program as anyone. The amount of time they serve the players and coaches is not seen by all, but it is felt by the staff and players and for that, THANK YOU!