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The Dartmouth
May 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Men's basketball will look to right its ship in 2007-08

DeVon Mosley '09 will handle duties at shooting guard this season.
DeVon Mosley '09 will handle duties at shooting guard this season.

Last season, Big Green men's basketball finished the season with a 9-18 overall record, the only Ivy failing to achieve double-digit victories. Combine that with a 4-10 record within the Ivies, ahead of only Princeton (2-12), and it seems like the only way to go this year is up.

Head Coach Terry Dunn certainly refused to make excuses, even if it was nearly impossible to field a consistent lineup last year.

"It was disappointing because we had much more potential," Dunn said. "It was challenging because of all the injuries, and our guys played extremely hard every night to try to overcome that."

Thankfully, this is a new year. Dartmouth returns three of last year's starters and eight players with starting experience. While leading scorer Leon Pattman '07 graduated, the next three scoring leaders have all returned, along with the team's top two rebounders.

"The guys have been working extremely hard with a positive attitude," Dunn said. "We have very lofty expectations. Our goal is to compete every night and get back into the upper tier of the league. This is a league where anyone can win it. We're looking to increase the tempo, get to the free throw line more and defend the perimeter better. Hopefully, this will help us close out close games better this year and give us more confidence."

While Coach Dunn hasn't revealed his starting lineup for Friday's season opener against Air Force, there are maybe seven or eight players who could be considered.

At point guard, Marlon Sanders '09 will get the nod. He has starting experience and, with a full season under his belt, Sanders has the experience and maturity for primetime.

In the two spot, DeVon Mosley '09 will pick up starting shooting guard duties, a role that should fit him well. Playing at the point most of last year, Mosley led the Big Green with 35 three-pointers last year and had 12 games in double figures.

"There was a stretch when he couldn't miss a shot," Dunn said. "He showed he's capable of doing it. Having him at the two kind of frees up his mind to be a scorer and a shooter rather than have to run the offense and think about where everyone else has to be. We are trying not to tax him so much with responsibility and allow him to shoot more."

Captain Michael Giovacchini '08 will also see plenty of minutes at guard. Although Giovacchini struggled with his shot last year, he is a proven scorer and will be counted on for consistency.

"I think Mosley and Giovacchini need to shoot the ball well at the two spot for us this year to give us some added scoring with the graduation of Pattman," Dunn said.

The two forward positions will be manned mostly by Alex Barnett '09 and captain Johnathan Ball '08. Barnett was Dartmouth's most improved player last year, flashing his all-around skills throughout the season. The hope is that his performance last year will translate into an All-Ivy League season this year.

"Without question he's someone people around the league respect," Dunn said. "He has the kind of talent that can carry a team."

Ball showed how well he could hold his own at power forward, despite being undersized at 6'4". He will be expected to score more this year.

"This is really Jon's team," Dunn said. "He does so much that doesn't show up on the scoreboard or in the stats. Leadership-wise, toughness-wise, intensity-wise, he's the guy that sets the tone for this team with his work ethic. When you need something, Jon finds a way."

The center position is still yet to be decided on, as Elgin Fitzgerald '10 and Kurt Graeber '09 have been battling for the starting position. At the moment it seems to be a toss-up.

The Big Green will be in Colorado throughout the weekend to play in the Air Force Classic tournament. The team plays Air Force first on Friday at 8 p.m., and the result will determine whether Dartmouth will face Northern Colorado or Virginia Military Institute on Saturday.

Giovacchini said that the team will be in it to win it.

"We are heading to Air Force tomorrow with the goal of winning the tournament we are playing in and getting the season off to a good start," Giovacchini said. "We have a lot of experience returning this year, and our young guys are learning fast."