2019 SLIAC Men's Basketball Tournament

Blackburn College, Eureka College, Greenville University, and Webster University edged out the remaining six teams in the SLIAC to qualify for the 2019 Men's Basketball Tournament. Webster secured hosting rights to the tournament after going 15-3 in conference play and winning their first outright SLIAC regular season title since 2012. They will face Blackburn in the opening round, who is making their second straight tournament. The other semifinal game will feature the defending tournament champion, Greenville, against Eureka, who is making their second straight tournament appearance. The championship game will be held on Saturday, February 23 at 7 p.m. All tournament games will be broadcast thanks to CollegeCasts.

#1 Webster University

Webster put together a 19-6 overall record during the season, going 15-3 in the SLIAC. The Gorloks secured their first outright SLIAC regular season title since 2012, giving them the rights to host the conference tournament; important considering they were 11-1 at home this season. Webster used an efficient offense, leading the league with a 49-percent team field goal percentage, to average 79.5 points per game. The Gorloks are an athletic team that like to attack the basket and led the SLIAC with a +5.2 rebounding margin. Enrique Tankins is the engine that drives the offense. The 6'3" guard averaged 14.4 points per game while leading the team with 85 assists. He also averaged 7.8 rebounds per game and recorded 36 steals. Josh Johnson is the team's only true outside threat, knocking down 50 three-pointers, while leading the team in scoring at 17.7 points per game. Sophomores Rodson Etienne and Nigel Wilcox are always dangerous. Etienne is averaging 13.8 points per game while shooting 59-percent from the floor and Wilcox is just as impressive on offense (13.4 ppg) as he is defense with a league leading 62 blocks all while leading the league at 10.0 rebounds per game.

SLIAC Tournament History

Apperances: 19

Record: 8-16

Titles: 2011 and 2014

#2 Greenville University

Greenville is back once again, making their fourth straight SLIAC Tournament. The Panthers were 17-8 overall and 14-4 in the SLIAC this season as they look to defend last year's tournament title, the second in program history. Greenville is averaging 134.7 points per game this season, getting off over 112 shots per game including making 19.3 three-pointers per outing. The oft changing lineup is led by the one-two punch of Johari Dix and Eric Williams. Dix, a senior, is averaging 19.5 points per game and is the SLIAC's all-time leader in assists with 502 (including 148 this season). Williams is averaging 23.6 points per game this season, shooting 53-percent from the field. You can find Marvin Bateman hanging out around the three-point arc (238 of his 283 shots this season are three's) where he is knocking down 39-percent of his shots. Isiah Price is averaging 12.7 points per game while Rakim Murphy is at 10.9 per game.

SLIAC Tournament History

Appearances: 7

Record: 6-4

Titles: 1998 and 2018

#3 Eureka College

Eureka is making their second straight tournament trip, marking just the second time in program history they have made the conference tournament in two straight years. The Red Devils went 11-14 overall but closed out the regular season with four straight conference wins to finish 10-8 in the SLIAC. Eureka has a potent offense that is averaging 91.7 points per game, shooting 34-percent from three-point range and ranking 2nd in the league with 23.1 free-throw attempts per game. Eureka is just one of two teams in the league with two players averaging at least 20 points per game. Dakota Bennington leads the team at 22.8 per game and has shown an ability to score both inside and outside. Hank Thomas meanwhile is averaging 20.2 points per game and is one of the league's top outside threats with 67 three-pointers. Juniors Austin Juergens and Jordan Dehm are both averaging over 13 points per game while senior Alex Wiegand does a little bit of everything for Coach Wilde, averaging 9.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.3 blocks per game.

I think one thing that has helped us towards the end of the season is we had a very challenging schedule to start the year. We played three very good teams in Canada and our non conference schedule was strong as well. We also had a lot of tough road games to start the conference season and fought through some injuries. So with that being said we had to get stronger and tougher to survive and to our players credit they did. We started to play better defense, we rebounded better and we took care of the ball, which is usually a good formula to use to win basketball games. You always want to play your best basketball in February and our guys stayed the course and are doing just that." - Eureka head coach chip wilde
#4 Blackburn College

For the second year in a row Blackburn used a late season surge to grab a tournament spot. The Beavers have won two in a row and four of their last six games to finish the regular season 13-12 overall and 10-8 in the SLIAC. This marks the first time the Beavers have appeared in two straight tournaments since 2005 and 2006. They are averaging 82.8 points per game and can get red-hot from long range; where they are shooting a SLIAC best 40-percent as a team. In fact the Beavers have the top four outside shooters in the league with Bryson Kirby leading the way at 43-percent. The team's top scorer is Karson Hayes (19.5 ppg) with Raushaun Amost (12.4 ppg) and Duncan King (12.1 ppg) also averaging in double digits. Senior Jamaya Wyatt serves as the team's inside player, averaging 8.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game and is coming off a 28 point, 19 rebound effort.

I believe we make these late season pushes because we are still getting better as the year goes on. It's a credit to our guys to buy into the things we are talking about on a daily basis as a program, and that is to 1) Focus on getting better every single day, because that is all you can control 2) Invest in the guy next to you and push each other to be the best you can be as individuals and in turn that helps us become a better team. We talk about it being a process and if we are getting better each practice, each film session, each game, and we have a great attitude in doing so, then we are without question going to be better at the end than we were earlier in the season. Our guys are excited for the opportunity to compete and represent our community, alumni, and institution as a whole in the SLIAC Tournament." - blackburn head coach steve kollar


Created with an image by Markus Spiske - "Basketball Game Goal"

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