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April 1, 2007

2006-07 MEN'S BASKETBALL REVIEW

2006-07 MBB REVIEW

 

Vikings win second straight CCIW title and make NCAA tournament again

 

Using a combination of tough, hard-nosed defense and consummate team play, the Augustana Vikings confounded all the “experts” en route to winning the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin title for the second year in a row. Head coach Grey Giovanine’s squad put together a 22-6 overall record and an 11-3 mark in the CCIW and won the conference tournament for the first time in school history. Throw in a number 11 final NCAA Division III national ranking and the 2006-07 season was truly a great one for the Vikings.

 

For the second consecutive year, Augustana qualified for the NCAA Division III national tournament and although that run ended in the first round with a 73-69 home loss to Carroll, it did not diminish the accomplishments of this gritty bunch that Giovanine molded. Heading into the 2006-07 campaign the Vikings were faced with the task of replacing Rick Harrigan and Jay McAdams-Thornton. Both finished their careers with over 1,000 points and Harrigan was the “Player of the Year” in both the CCIW and the NCAA Division III Midwest Region in 2005-06. McAdams-Thornton was a first team all-conference performer and between them they averaged 35.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.

 

The annual pre-season polls had North Central as the pick to win the league but Giovanine got tremendous leadership out of a group of five seniors and parlayed that into the 10th CCIW title in school history. Drew Wessels (Bettendorf HS, Bettendorf, Iowa), Nate Swetalla (Davenport Central HS, Bettendorf, Iowa), Shaun Rose (East Leyden HS, Franklin Park, Ill.), Pat Brusveen (Neuqua Valley HS, Naperville, Ill.) and Joe Caricato (St. Charles East HS, St. Charles, Ill.) formed the nucleus of a team that went 9-2 in the non-conference portion of the season and never stopped winning.

 

Wessels was the motor that made the Vikings’ engine purr. The pesky little point guard led the team in assists (144) and steals (65) and was constantly in the middle of the action. He came up with a key steal in the closing seconds on an early season game with Washington and sank two free throws in a 75-73 win over a Bear team that would eventually make it all the way to the NCAA Division III Final Four. His basket in the final moments at North Central on January 20 gave Augustana a crucial 60-59 victory over the team picked to win the CCIW.

 

He was a unanimous first team all-conference selection and was named to the all-Midwest Region team by both the National Association of Basketball Coaches and D3hoops.com. Wessels was also a finalist (one of 10) for the Jostens Award which goes annually to the NCAA Division III player who best combines athletics, academics and community service.

 

Rose and Swetalla were both season long starters with Swetalla averaging 7.9 points and 3.2 rebounds and Rose contributing 7.2 points and 4.0 rebounds. Brusveen appeared in all 28 games and Caricato played in 22. It was Brusveen’s three point field goal at the buzzer that provided the winning margin in a 64-62 home victory over Illinois Wesleyan on January 24.

 

The non-conference portion of the schedule ended with a hard-fought 71-68 loss at Wisconsin-Stevens Point on December 30 against a Pointer team that would spend most of the season ranked number one in the country. Defense of the CCIW title began with a 62-48 home victory against North Park on January 3 but the Vikings crashed to earth with an 81-72 drubbing at the hands of Elmhurst on January 6. The loss at Elmhurst started a critical stretch in the season that had Augustana on the road for four of the first six league contests.

 

Following the defeat at Elmhurst, the Vikings came up big in a 75-69 win at Wheaton on January 10 when Wessels and Jordan Delp (Mount Carroll HS, Mount Carroll, Ill.) put the defensive clamps on the Thunder’s Kent Raymond, who would be named the CCIW’s “Player of the Year” at the end of the season. He was held to just two field goals in 10 attempts in this pivotal victory. After beating Carthage at home 70-54 on January 13, two more road wins followed (80-65 at Millikin on January 17 and 60-59 at North Central on January 20). Then came the win at home against Illinois Wesleyan when Brusveen made the winning basket and an 86-74 destruction of Elmhurst on January 27. The month ended with a 71-56 win at North Park on January 31 and suddenly, Augustana was in the driver’s seat.

 

A loss at Carthage (66-56) did not get February started on a good note but three straight wins, including an 80-77 triumph at Illinois Wesleyan on February 14, sealed the CCIW title. The Vikings suffered their first home loss of the season, after 13 straight wins at Carver, on Senior Night, by a score of 85-81 against North Central on February 17. Even in that game, Augustana showed some of the grit and mettle which characterized this entire season, coming from 17 points down in the final 4:37 to tie the game. Four free throws with no time on the clock allowed the Cardinals to escape with the win.

That set up the CCIW tournament, which the Vikings hosted for the second consecutive year. With a first round exit from 2006 still stinging in the player’s memories, Augustana put together a pair of solid efforts. First, the Vikings defeated North Central 74-67 in a rematch of the stirring game played just a week earlier as four players were in double figures and Delp scored 15 points to lead the way. The next night saw the Vikings defeat Elmhurst 78-70 with Delp pouring in 19 points. There was some doubt as to whether the game would be played because a crippling ice storm swept through the Quad Cities and most of the area was without power. However, the lights stayed on in Carver and Augustana secured the NCAA automatic berth by overcoming an anemic 28 of 44 performance at the free throw line.

 

In the NCAA tournament, the Vikings were stunned by Carroll 73-69 to end the season.

 

This was a team without any real stars as Delp was the leading scorer with a 13.1 average while Dain Swetalla (Pleasant Valley HS, Bettendorf, Iowa) was also in double figures at 11.9. Defense was the key as the Vikings allowed just 64.0 points per game and opponents shot just .436 (646-1480) from the floor and .360 (168-467) from three point range.

 

Wessels was a first team all-conference selection while Delp and Dain Swetalla were named to the second team and Giovanine was named as the CCIW’s “Coach of the Year” for the second straight season.

 

NCAA DIVISION III FINAL NATIONAL RANKING

 

RANK

SCHOOL

RECORD

PTS

PREVIOUS WEEK

1.

Amherst (25)

30-2

625

6

2.

Virginia Wesleyan

26-5

596

4

3.

Washington

25-5

576

8

4.

Wooster

29-5

552

2

5.

Hope

26-5

482

10

6.

Wisconsin-Stevens Point

26-3

469

1

7.

Guilford

24-5

424

19

8.

Mississippi College

27-3

407

3

9.

Whitworth

24-4

342

11

10.

St. Thomas

24-4

315

5

11.

AUGUSTANA

22-6

288

7

12.

SUNY-Brockport

26-6

280

-----

13.

Wisconsin-Oshkosh

21-6

277

9

14.

Carroll

18-9

263

-----

15.

Rhode Island

27-4

212

21

16.

Elmhurst

21-6

175

14

17.

Chicago

20-6

169

12

18.

Wisconsin-LaCrosse

19-8

154

16

19.

Lincoln

20-9

146

-----

20.

Keene State

25-6

135

-----

21.

John Carroll

21-10

131

25

22.

Aurora

25-3

129

13

23.

Brandeis

20-7

116

-----

24.

Stevens

23-7

108

-----

25.

Wittenberg

22-5

89

17

 

2006-07 COLLEGE CONFERENCE OF ILLINOIS & WISCONSIN FINAL STANDINGS

 

TEAM

CCIW – W

CCIW – L

CCIW - .PCT

OVERALL – W

OVERALL – L

OVERALL - .PCT

AUGUSTANA

11

3

.786

22

6

.786

Elmhurst

10

4

.714

21

6

.778

Wheaton

9

5

.643

17

9

.654

North Central

8

6

.571

16

10

.615

Carthage

7

7

.500

16

9

.640

North Park

5

9

.357

13

12

.520

Illinois Wesleyan

4

10

.286

11

14

.440

Millikin

2

12

.143

9

16

.360

 

2007 CCIW TOURNAMENT

February 23-24 at Carver PE Center

Augustana College *** Rock Island, Illinois

 

SEMI-FINAL ROUND – Friday, February 23

#2 Elmhurst 85, #3 Wheaton 82

#1 Augustana 74, #4 North Central 67

 

FINAL ROUND – Saturday, February 24

#1 Augustana 78, #2 Elmhurst 70 (Augustana wins CCIW tournament and automatic NCAA berth)

 

2006-07 AUGUSTANA SUPERLATIVES

CCIW TEAM CHAMPIONS – 11-3 record in conference play…11th CCIW title in school history (1963-71-72-73-74-81-82-93-03-06-07)

CCIW TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS – Defeated Elmhurst 78-70 in championship game…First CCIW tournament championship in school history

NCAA DIVISION III NATIONAL TOURNAMENT – Vikings appeared in post season play for the 19th time in school history…They have been in the NCAA Division III tournament 10 times (1975-76-77-80-81-82-83-93-06-07), the NAIA national tournament five times (1939-40-72-73-74), the NCAA College Division national tournament three times (1959-60-71) and the United States Olympic Trials once (1936).

FINAL NCAA DIVISION III NATIONAL RANKING – 11th by D3hoops.com

CCIW “COACH OF THE YEAR” – Grey Giovanine…Named for second consecutive season

CCIW ALL-CONFERENCE – Drew Wessels (1st team)…Dain Swetalla (2nd team)…Jordan Delp (2nd team)

NATIONAL BASKETBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION ALL-MIDWEST REGION – Drew Wessels (2nd team)

D3HOOPS.COM ALL-MIDWEST REGION – Drew Wessels (3rd team)

JACK SWARTZ AWARD FOR CCIW – Drew Wessels

ACADEMIC ALL-CONFERENCE – Drew Wessels, Joe Caricato, Jordan Delp, Chandlor Collins, Matt Pelton

JOSTENS AWARD FINALIST – Drew Wessels (one of 10 players for NCAA Division III award that combines athletic/academic and community service)

CCIW TEAM STATISTICAL LEADERS  - Augustana led the CCIW in scoring defense (65.4 ppg with 916 points in 14 games)…defensive field goal percentage (.444 – 324/730)…three point field goal percentage – offense (.449 – 79/176).

CCIW INDIVIDUAL STATISTICAL LEADERS – Assists (Drew Wessels at 5.29 per game with 74 in 14 games)…Steals (Drew Wessels at 2.21 per game with 31 in 14 games)…Three point field goal percentage (Nate Swetalla at .533 with 16 of 30).

CCIW “PLAYER OF THE WEEK” – Jordan Delp on 12/19/06

SCHOOL RECORD FOR MOST HOME VICTORIES IN SINGLE SEASON – 15 (15-2 record), ties old mark set in 1971-72 (15-0) by team coached by Jim Borcherding