PAINESVILLE, OHIO - Men's Basketball Head Coach Cliff Hunt sits down with host Kyle Akins to preview the 2011-12 Lake Erie season.
Lake Erie is looking to build on a 7-19, (3-16 GLIAC) campaign as it enters its second season in the conference. The Storm was close in several games last season at it held the lead or a share of it 15 times with five minutes to go in the game. Lake Erie returns four starters and seven of its top eight rotational players from a season ago, with five players who scored at least 5.9 points per game. The team will be looking to replace its top scorer from a season ago, graduated Ethan Bradshaw, who earned a second-team All-GLIAC South honors and was third in the conference in scoring at 16.3 ppg.
Leading the way will be sophomore guard Riley Thomas (Cardington, Ohio/Cardington-Lincoln), who started the final 21 games of his freshman campaign and averaged 8.6 ppg. Junior Garrick Sims (Barberton, Ohio/Barberton) finished eighth in the GLIAC with 6.6 rebounds per game to go along with 8.0 points. Returning senior guard Brandon Smith (Bedford, Ohio/Bedford/Cuyahoga Community College) and senior forward Matt Grendel (Independence, Ohio/Independence) should both be in the mix for starting spots again along with junior forward Eric Worthey (South Euclid, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy), junior guard Alex Davis (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) and sophomore forward Rich Austin (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius).
Four newcomers and two redshirt freshmen should add a spark to the Storm. Notables include sophomore transfer Nate Tait (South Euclid, Ohio/Brush/Alderson-Broaddus), who average 6.9 ppg. as a freshman at Alderson-Broaddus College and redshirt freshman Jamil Dudley (Massillon, Ohio/Massillon) who was the GLIAC champion and an All-American in the high jump.