Men's basketball preview

Contact: William Sodoma
Date: November 15, 2006
WATERVILLE, Maine --- The Colby College men's basketball team starts the season Friday with a veteran team, including key players at the point guard and center position for head coach Dick Whitmore.

The Mules head to Babson College for the Irving Oil Invitational this Friday and Saturday. Colby plays Babson at 5:30 p.m. Friday, with Washington University and Vassar Colelge meeting in the other game at 7:30 p.m. The consolation game is Saturday at 1 p.m. and the title game is set for 3 p.m.

Colby plays four in a row on the road before its home opener against Bates College on November 29. The Mules will at Division I Davidson College in North Carolina this Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Senior co-captains Drew Cohen (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) and Nick Farrell (Aspen, Colo.) return after having fine junior seasons. Cohen was the top shot blocker in NCAA Division III last year at 4.8 rejections a game and he earned NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year honors to go along with being a first team selection. Cohen was first in the NESCAC in rebounding (10.7) and second in scoring (19.7). Farrell, Colby's point guard, averaged 12.8 points per game and was second in the league in steals (2.32 per game) and third in assists (5.56).

The Mules went 11-14 last year, but Colby missed a number of key players during the course of the season. The team made the NESCAC playoffs and lost a tough 84-81 battle to Trinity College in a quarterfinal game in Hartford.

Michael Westbrooks (Dublin, Ireland) returns to the lineup for his final season after missing all of last year. He averaged 9.2 points and 5.8 rebounds for the Mules two years ago. The Mules lost the rebounding edge last year (40.8 to 35.3), but Westbrooks should be able to contribute on the boards and he adds another player with slashing ability to the basket.

With Cohen's inside presence and the ability of Farrell and Westbrooks to take the ball to the basket, junior shooting guard Mark Gaudet (Bingham, Maine) should see some open looks. Gaudet averaged 10.4 points per game and led the NESCAC in 3-point shooting at 49 percent (58-for-118). He also shot 87 percent (40-for-46) from the foul line.

Colby has depth at guard with sophomores Mac Simpson (Casco, Maine) and Artie Curtone (Garden City, N.Y.) each returning. Simpson made the All-Maine Rookie Team after averaging 5.6 points per game and shooting 87 percent (47-for-54) from the foul line. Pat Featherston (Murray Hill, N.J., Chris Lemmons (Malden, Mass.) and first-year players Justin Sherman (Piedmont, Calif.), Gil Haylon (Wellesley, Mass.) and Tim Concannon (Norwood, Mass.) also will look for time at the guard spots.

Senior forward Jon Bandi (Winchester, Mass.) averaged about 13 minutes per game last year and also shot well from the foul line at 84 percent (26-for-31). Kevin Shers (Portsmouth, R.I.), Nick Planeta (Westwood, Mass.), Bryce Cheney (Stoors, Conn.) and first-year players Adam Choice (Newport, R.I.), David Chase (Weston, Conn.) and Chas Woodward (Vero Beach, Fla.) will look for playing time on the forward line.

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