Willamette to Open Season at Calvin Tipoff Tournament in Michigan

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University will open the 2011-12 men's basketball regular season on Friday, Nov. 18 at the Calvin Tipoff Tournament, hosted by Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. The Bearcats will take on D'Youville College (N.Y.) in the first round at 5:30 p.m. (EST)/2:30 p.m. (PST). Calvin will complete the first round by playing Grace Bible College at 7:30 p.m. (EST)/4:30 p.m. (PST) on Friday.

The Calvin Tipoff Tournament will continue on Saturday, Nov. 19. The consolation game is scheduled to get underway at 1 p.m. (EST)/10 a.m. (PST) and the championships game, featuring the winning teams from Friday, is set for 3 p.m. (EST)/12 p.m. (PST).

Calvin will be providing Live Stats for all four games. Live Video also will be available during each game, but the video will not include audio. These features will not ready until very close to game time.

Please note that Willamette, along with Full Access Sports, will be providing webcasts of Northwest Conference games involving the Bearcats, but will not be webcasting non-conference game. The first webcast for 2011-12 will be during the NWC opener against Pacific Lutheran University on Friday, Dec. 2.

Webcasts will feature audio and video during home games at Cone Field House, and will be audio only during road games. Mike Allegre and Craig Spivey will be the announcers.

The Bearcats, under the guidance of Head Coach Kip Ioane, now in his third year, will begin the season with 11 returning players, including three returning starters. The returning starters are Taylor Mounts (Sr., Wing/Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School), Ryan Meehan (Sr., Wing, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings) and Terrell Malley (Jr., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS).

In addition, Sean Dart (Jr., Post, Bend, OR/Mountain View HS/Eastern Oregon Univ.), who ranked second in NCAA Division III in field goal accuracy at 66.7% in 2010-11, is currently injured. He may be able to rejoin the team at some point during the season. If he can, the Bearcats will have four returning starters.

Mounts led Willamette in scoring last season and was named Second Team All-NWC. He averaged 20.2 points per game and led the Bearcats with 7.9 rebounds per contest. He hit 38 of 114 three-pointers (33.3%) and won two games with 3-pointers in the closing seconds. He enters his senior season with 866 career points and 375 career rebounds.

Last year, Mounts ranked third in the NWC in scoring and was second in rebounding. He ranked 32nd in NCAA Division III in scoring.

Meehan contributed 14.0 points per game in 2010-11. He topped WU with 46 three-point baskets. He also connected on 74.7% of his free throws (65 of 87) and produced 1.3 steals per game. Malley earned 12.9 points per game last season. He hit 77.5% of his free throws (55 of 71).

In two seasons at Willamette, Meehan has tallied 637 points. Malley has chipped in 539 points during the same two seasons.

The Bearcats must replace point guard Robbie Kunke (Sr. in 2010-11, Clackamas, OR/Clackamas HS), who completed his undergraduate degree last year. Kunke set a Willamette record with 523 career assists. He earned 143 assists last season to lead the NWC and rank 22nd nationally with 5.7 assists per game.

Trevor Bos (So., Lakewood, CA/St. John Boscoe HS), who played in 22 games last season, is the likely starter at point guard. He hit 14 of 38 three-pointers (36.8%) and made 11 of 12 free throws (91.7%).

Other top returning players are Avery Manu (So., Wing, Pocatello, ID/Highland HS), Oliver Hughes (Jr., Wing, Salt Lake City, UT/Judge Memorial HS), Alex Hansen (So., G, Reno, NV/Galena HS) and Noah Ripley (So., Post, Springfield, OR/Springfield HS). Manu and Hughes played in all 25 games, while Hansen saw action in 21 games and Ripley contributed in 17 games.

Ioane plans to have his team play a high-pressure up-tempo style again this season, so depth will be important. The Bearcats have a quality group of seven freshmen who will be able to contribute throughout the season.

WU finished the 2010-11 season with a 7-18 overall record, including 4-12 in the NWC (8th place). Willamette averaged 80.3 points per game. The Bearcats ranked 28th in the nation in scoring out of 402 NCAA Division III teams.

Ryan Meehan averaged 14.0 points per game for the Bearcats last season.

Ryan Meehan averaged 14.0 points per game for the Bearcats last season.