As the tip to the basketball season approaches, the Albion College men's team is looking to develop the consistency to challenge the leaders in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
Albion finished 6-8 against MIAA rivals last season, including victories over Hope College and Olivet College, the teams that tied for the regular season championship, at home.
Jody May, who is set to begin his 11th season as head coach, knows his roster filled with veterans can compete with the best the MIAA has to offer. But can they do it consistently?
"We return seven seniors, and at times they showed what they can do," May said. "The hunger is there, but we are taking a different approach in terms of making ourselves better every day.
"I don't think we have any one great player who we will rely on to get 20 points or 10 rebounds," he added. "We have to do it by committee."
Collins is Albion's leading returning scorer at a shade less than nine points per game last season. Lowe chipped in with seven points and five rebounds per game.
When May is not preaching consistency, his message has been improving on the defensive end of the court.
"It all starts from keeping the ball in front of you and keeping the ball out of the lane," May said. "We have to find a way to decrease our opponents' field goal percentage."
Albion's non-league schedule includes home dates against Capital University (Nov. 16), Kenyon College (Nov. 17) and Heidelberg University (Nov. 20) before Thanksgiving.
Two teams that advanced to the NCAA Division III Championship last season – North Central College (at home on Dec. 17) and Aurora University (away on Dec. 19) – and a Dec. 1 date against the University of Evansville, a Division I rival, will prepare Albion for the rigors of the MIAA schedule.
"It's going to be challenging for our guys," May said.
Albion starts MIAA play with a Jan. 3 home date against Olivet College.
The MIAA pre-season men's basketball poll follows with first place votes in parenthesis.
Trine (3) 44 points
Hope (3) 43
Olivet (2) 41
Albion and Adrian 18
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