Both the Nebraska Wesleyan men’s and women’s basketball teams will open play for the 2009-10 season this weekend when they open the year at tournaments. The NWU men will play in the Bill Merris Tournament in Jacksonville, Ill., while the NWU women open the season at the Cornell College classic in Mount Vernon, Iowa.
For the men, the Prairie Wolves will take on Milwaukee School of Engineering on Friday at 5:30 pm in the first round of the tournament. They will then face either Simpson College or the host school, Illinois College on Saturday. Both games can be heard on KFOR 1240 AM or online at kfor1240.com with Dick Janda calling the action. LISTEN LIVE
Nebraska Wesleyan returns four starters and 10 lettermen from the 2008-09 team that finished 10-15 overall. Senior Ryan Thramer is the leading returning scorer and rebounder for NWU. Thramer is a three-year starter at forward. Also returning is senior guard Jake Spurgeon who led the team in 3-point field goals last season. Lee Hullman and Nick Dinan both return with starting experience at point guard. The Prairie Wolves will be without All-GPAC center Dylan Aylward who will miss the season with an injury.
The NWU women begin their second season under head coach Eric Jensen at the Cornell Classic. The Prairie Wolves face Cornell College on Friday at 6 pm, and then take on Edgewood College on Saturday at 4 p.m. Nebraska Wesleyan was 6-21 overall last season and returns two starters and seven letterwinners.
Juniors Sadie Struebing and Katy Golden both return as starters for the third straight season. Struebing has earned All-GPAC honors the past two seasons and led the team in rebounding the last two years. Golden is the team’s leading returning scorer as she led the team with 10.5 points per game to earn All-GPAC recognition. Also back is sophomore guard Shea Rasmussen. Rasmussen scored in double figures in her first 11 games before being sidelined with injury the rest of the year.
The home opener for the Nebraska Wesleyan basketball teams will be Tuesday (Nov. 24) when the Prairie Wolves open Great Plains Athletic Conference play by hosting Hastings College in Snyder Arena.