Men's Basketball Season Preview

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Men's Basketball Season Preview

Dordt men's basketball is looking to regain a spot in the top half of the conference standings following an 18-8 season in 2021-22. The Defenders finished sixth in the GPAC and finished their season in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. Fourth-year head coach Brian Van Haaften is 59-30 with the Defenders and is entering his 26th year of collegiate coaching.

Last season, Dordt won three of their final four games, showing resilience in single-digit wins on the road during that stretch. The Defenders opened the year with a 5-0 record and also had an eight-game winning streak in the midst of conference play. Although this year's team looks different than last year's, with five seniors graduating from the 20-21 team, returning starters Jacob Vis and Cade Bleeker along with contributors Bryce Coppock, Camden Bialas, and Caleb Harmsen will look to maintain the team's success this season.

Jacob Vis is the team's leading scorer among returning players after averaging 12.5 points per game and 6.0 rebounds. Vis was an All-GPAC Honorable Mention in 2020-21.

The team's next two top scorers returning from last season were Cade Bleeker and Bryce Coppock, averaging 10.6 and 9.5 points, respectively. Bleeker was also selected as an All-GPAC Honorable Mention.

The Defenders will open the new season in Chicago for a two-game classic before returning home for three non-conference games with Mayville State, Valley City State, and Dakota State. Dordt will then face Viterbo and Bellevue before opening conference play at Morningside.

Head Coach Brian Van Haaften referenced the non-conference season as a time to make adjustments saying, "It'll be good for us to get away and see what we have as a group. There will be good tests on the road in the non-conference schedule. I've always enjoyed non-conference as it gives us a chance to see what we're good at and make adjustments."

The conference will be challenging once again this season, as Dordt's young group will match up with experienced teams across the conference.

"This will be a really tough year as far as the GPAC is concerned. There are a lot of good players in the conference and we're looking forward to seeing what we have," said Van Haaften.

With the 2021-22 season on the horizon, Van Haaften is looking for his team to build upon the experiences that they had last year and improve consistently as a group.

"It'll be a new year. Last year our team had good experience with guys who played a lot of basketball for us. I'd like to play a bit faster this year and still be a good defensive team. We want to keep growing as a team and get better every day."