The Buena Vista men's basketball team is eager to put the rough finish of last season in the rear view mirror as it prepares to open its 2017-18 campaign on November 15 at Bethany Lutheran College.
Despite losing a trio of senior starters off last year's team, including three-time All-IIAC performer Kennedy Drey, the Beavers feel they have plenty of weapons coming back and look to make a strong push at a high conference finish this season.
Seniors Thomas Wisecup and David Jeffries are back to help lead the younger BVU team and are both coming off very strong junior campaigns. Jeffries, who transferred into BVU before last season, finished third on the team in scoring (13.1ppg) and shot 55 percent from the field. He was also one of the best defenders in the conference and was recognized for his efforts by being named the IIAC Defensive Performer of the Year. He hauled in nearly 5.0rpg and averaged 2.0spg. Wisecup, a Second Team All-IIAC selection, was second on the team in scoring (13.9ppg) and became one of the premier three-point shooters in the league. He averaged 2.3 makes per game from long range and shot 44 percent from downtown (both ranked in the top-5 of the IIAC).
Head coach Brian Van Haaften, who is set to begin his 22nd season at the helm and needing just three wins for 400 in his career, has brought in a lengthy and athletic freshman class that he is excited about.
The Beavers sat atop the IIAC standings heading into the final two weeks of the season in 2016-17 before dropping four straight to close out the regular season and then falling in the Iowa Conference Tournament to sixth-seed Wartburg. The Knights then went on to win the tournament and advance into the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament. BVU finished last year at 14-12 overall (10-6 IIAC). The team is picked to finish seventh in this year's race.
KBVU sports director, Tanner Hoops, recently sat down with Coach Van Haaften to preview this year's squad. Listen HERE.