The Green Bay Phoenix just could not beat the Valparaiso Crusaders in 2014-15, which led to their exclusion from the 2015 NCAA tournament and a berth in the NIT. Heading into 2015-16, Green Bay will be with new head coach Linc Darner, and a roster largely bereft of last season’s stars.
Nearly all of the players who saw extended minutes last season are gone, but Green Bay will return Carrington Love, who averaged 10 points per game last season and should step it up offensively. The lack of starting minutes might have fans worried, but several players on this roster have seen time on the court, even if it was limited. Expect Henry Uwadiae and Kenneth Lowe to see a huge uptick in minutes, as the Phoenix try to exceed expectations in this transition season.
In non-conference play, Green Bay will travel to face the Stanford Cardinal, Wisconsin Badgers and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. These three games will likely be tough for this team with their first-year head coach, but things are much easier outside of their non-conference road games. There are several “guaranteed” wins that should boost the team’s confidence heading into conference play.
In conference play, once again, this season is going to come down to whether or not the Phoenix can defeat Valparaiso. The Crusaders return almost everyone from last season, making them the heavy favorite to win the Horizon League. Something tells me that this team will remember the disappointing loss from last season and step things up when it counts.
It may be a transition season, but Green Bay is one of the more underrated staples in college basketball and should be back to competing fairly soon.