Smokey Ballenger Classic 2013
The Otterbein University men's and women's basketball teams are nearing the start of another season, and both sides are once again preparing to host the annual Smokey Ballenger Classic.
The women, under the direction of 23-year head coach Connie Richardson, will keep the same dates as last season and play Dec. 28-29 in the Rike Center.
The men's team, sporting second-year head coach Todd Adrian, has moved its Ballenger event up to the beginning of the season and will now play Nov. 22-23 in the Rike.
Access the schedule page of both teams at www.otterbeincardinals.com to view all pairings and start times.
Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for active military and students. There is no charge for seniors (55 or over), children (5 and under), and students attending an Ohio Athletic Conference institution.
Men's Basketball 2013 Season Preview
The Otterbein University men’s basketball team is ready for its second season under charismatic head coach Todd Adrian in 2013-14, looking to build off last season’s transition.
The Cardinals won just eight games last winter, but finished the year strong by winning the program’s first Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) Tournament game since 2007 with their 82-76 upset win at John Carroll.
Just five players return from last year’s roster, but all are expected to see minutes after making various contributions to last year’s squad.
Sophomore Jake Bischoff is expected to headline a very talented backcourt after transferring into Otterbein in the middle of last season. He started 11 of his 16 contests, leading the team in scoring at 12.6 ppg. and shooting .432 from the field.
Andy Yazrombek took the next step in his career with 26 of a possible 27 starts last year at point guard, scoring 7.3 ppg. and distributing a team-best 116 assists.
Other key returners include Jason Davis, Jon Juergens, and Marshall Crum, who saw the court six different times last year after also transferring in mid-season.
Adrian and the coaching staff are excited about the potential of a highly-skilled incoming class, which features Jake Phillis, Mark McCuen, Matt Rhoads, and Grant Fenner.
Otterbein opens the season Nov. 15-16 at the Case Western Tournament before hosting its annual Smokey Ballenger Classic. The event, usually played between Christmas and New Year’s, has been moved to the start of the season this year and is scheduled for Nov. 22-23 in the Rike Center.
Women's Basketball 2013 Season Preview
The Otterbein University women’s basketball team experienced
its best season ever last winter, going 21-7 overall, advancing to the Ohio
Athletic Conference (OAC) championship game, and making the program’s
first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
The Cardinals will be looking to carry the momentum over to
the 2013-14 season, but 23rd-year head Coach Connie Richardson has
just four letterwinners returning and must find a way to replace four of her
top-five scorers. Gone is leading-scorer Hannah Day, along with a handful of
other key players who guided the team to a 41-14 record since 2011.
Returning to help lead the charge is junior forward Tabatha
Piper, a second-team All-OAC pick last season after averaging 9.6 ppg. and a
team-high 6.8 rpg. Also back is point guard Chelsea Reed, who took control of
Richardson’s offense shortly into last season and never looked back. She dished
out 117 assists, fourth-best in the league, to go along with 6.4 ppg.
Other key returnees include junior Madi Miller and sophomore
Amariah Huck, who proved themselves as valuable pieces off the bench last year.
Miller averaged an even 6.0 ppg. and came up with 29 steals, while Huck
appeared in 20 of the team’s 28 outings.
The coaching staff expects to get immediate contribution
from a handful of new faces, specifically Ohio Wesleyan transfer Mary Corbett
and freshman Taylor Pifher, Kyleigh Wyeth and Cheyene Hartley-Carr. Corbett,
who played in 51 games for Wesleyan over the past two seasons before coming to
Westerville, suffered an offseason injury but hopes to return to action soon.
Otterbein opens the
season Nov. 15-16 at the Franklin College Tournament in Indiana.