It’s a new era in Otterbein basketball as both the men’s and women’s teams open the season with new head coaches. As basketball gears up to turn the page, the wrestling team looks to continue their success in their fourth season as a program.
The big news surrounding the men’s basketball team is the new, young face of head coach Andy Winters. Winters, 28, takes the helm after five years as the lead assistant coach at rival Capital University. The hiring of a sub-30-year-old head coach at the collegiate level is a significant piece of approval set forth by any athletic department.
“He’s come in and been just what we needed,” said junior basketball player Eddie Anders. “The culture has completely changed from the second he got here and I’m confident he’s putting us into the position to win games.”
Winters is tasked with turning around a team that has gone 14-61 over the past three seasons. Winters won’t have to worry too much about depth in talent this season, as four of the team’s top five scorers from a year ago return for the Cardinals. Junior Justin Carter was second on the team last year with 12.9 points per game after appearing in all 25 contests last year. Juniors Maurice Beavers, Kobe Long-Weber, and senior Austin Springer rounded out the top five.
“We are looking to push the pace of the game more this year,” said Anders.
The Cardinals will get their first opportunity to do just that when they open up their season against Franklin on Saturday, November 9 at 3 p.m. in the Rike Center.
The 2019-2020 season will mark the first time in 28 seasons that Connie Richardson won’t be on the sidelines following her retirement this spring. In her place steps 2004 graduate and Otterbein Athletics Hall of Famer Diana Noles.
Noles has spent the past seven seasons as the lead assistant on Richardson’s staff, including last year’s team that finished with a 16-11 record and a second-round loss in the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament.
Noles will have plenty of talent to choose from when piecing together her lineup. In 26 games last season, senior Abbie Scholz registered 7.5 points per game and figures to be a significant contributor to the Cardinals offense this season. Junior Angelia Jackson played 27 games with 21 starts, netting 7 points per game. Rounding out the top returning players is senior Delaney Cutteridge, who registered 6 points in her 27 games.
The team will open up their season in Washington, Pennsylvania, as they face Carnegie Mellon in the Springhill Suites Tip-Off Tournament on November 15.
After an 8-11 overall record last year, the Cardinals wrestling team has good news in terms of returning contributors in 2019. Senior Jackson Lakso went 27-8 in his matches last year including 5-1 in OAC play. Senior Corbin Bunsold compiled a 27-7 record, while sophomore Jarrod Setliff went 21-12. Perhaps the biggest strength of head coach Brent Rastetter’s team will be the 285-pound duo of senior Drew Kasper and sophomore Luke Shively who combined for a 42-8 record. Kasper also finished 6-0 in OAC matches.
The team will travel to Ithaca, New York, to compete in the Ithaca Invitational November 1-2. The Cardinals will also only host one meet in the 2019 calendar year, that one against Urbana on Tuesday, December 10.