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2019-20 Hope College Men's Basketball Preview A Look at the Upcoming Season

The 2019 Hope College men's basketball varsity team and coaching staff

Men's Basketball At A Glance

  • Roster Size: 19
  • Returners: 10
  • Returning starters: 2
  • Head coach: Greg Mitchell, sixth season (99-41, .707)
  • Captains: Preston Granger, Riley Lewis, Tyler George
  • 2019-20 MIAA Preseason Poll: Fourth
  • 2019-20 Regular-Season Recap: The Flying Dutchmen posted a 15-11 overall record and finished tied for third in the MIAA standings. Led by all-region guard Jason Beckman, Hope qualified for the league tournament and claimed a No. 5 seed. The Flying Dutchmen set a team record for points in a game in the season opener with a 139-129 victory against Greenville (Illinois) College at the North Park University Tournament in Chicago. For the 17th consecutive season and 21st time overall, Hope led NCAA Division III in home attendance by averaging 2,207 over 13 home games; 727 more than the nearest team. Academically, the Flying Dutchmen claimed both the National Association of Basketball Coaches Team Academic Excellence Award and the MIAA’s Team GPA Award. Three Flying Dutchmen made the NABC Honors Court: Jason Beckman, Teddy Ray and Matt Zandstra.
  • 2019 MIAA Tournament Recap: The Flying Dutchmen were edged by fourth-seeded Calvin College, 68-66, in the first round of the MIAA Tournament. Jason Beckman scored a game-high 31 points and ended his Hope career with 1,132 points in two seasons.

Pictured right: Guard Riley Lewis received All-MIAA Second Team honors last season.

"Right now, the biggest challenge is trying to find our identity and who we're going to be as a team. But it's also a great opportunity because I believe it's a group that's together and a little more unified. We've made some really intentional strides to attack it that way. We're going to be as good as we are together." — Head coach Greg Mitchell
Forward Preston Granger

Men's Basketball Roster

The Flying Dutchmen are starting the season with a roster of 18 varsity players, including returning starters Preston Granger at center and Riley Lewis guard. There are two seniors, six juniors, five sophomores and five freshmen on the roster.

"We have some unknowns at this point considering the roles that need to be filled with this team. But I do know that we will be the hardest-working team on the floor, which will be necessary in order to be successful consistently. I do believe we have the pieces to be doggone good. But we can't just show up and expect; we've got to play with toughness and execute." — Head coach Greg Mitchell
2019-20 Varsity and Jayvee teams
Guard Calvin Hackert

Key Returners

  • Guard Riley Lewis averaged a career-high 17.3 points per game last season as a junior en route to All-MIAA Second Team honors. He shot 44.5 percent from the field, including 41.0 percent from 3-point range.
  • Forward Preston Granger started all 26 games last season for the Flying Dutchmen. He set career-highs with 13.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
  • Guard Calvin Hackert appeared in 24 games last season off the bench for Hope. He scored 3.3 points per game.
  • Guard Nate Davis, guard Jason Dietz, forward Ryan Gamm, guard Ty George, guard/forward Jake Honer, guard Matt Zandstra and center Sam Vree all averaged around five minutes in reserve roles last season.
"Riley's had the chance to play quite a bit. I think the challenge for him really is to get out of his shell a little bit more and grow into what's most important with our team. And we need more of a voice. We need more toughness and defensive consistency out of him, which he has shown in our scrimmage with (University of) Chicago and exhibition game against Grand Valley (State University). He didn't shoot the ball like he's capable, but I think he's played the hardest he's ever played. That's what we've been seeing in practice from him. Over time, that's going to bode well. It's a good sign of maturity from Riley." — Head coach Greg Mitchell
"Preston has had an outstanding offseason. He has continued to develop his strength and endurance and perhaps the most important element is he's a more confident player. He has put a lot of time into his outside shot which will make him an even tougher match-up for opponents. His greatest asset for us is his desire to compete and will to win. We will need him to step into a leadership role and be a force at both ends of the floor."— Head coach Greg Mitchell
Center Sam Vree
Guard Tyler George

Men's Basketball Schedule

The Flying Dutchmen tip off the 2019-20 season with three home games in a row: Friday, November 8 against Ripon College (Wisconsin), Wednesday, November 13 against Benedictine University (Illinois) and November 23 against Anderson University (Indiana). Hope has 11 games at DeVos Fieldhouse. The Flying Dutchmen are hosting a three-team tournament in Orlando, Florida in December and the Russ DeVette Classic on Friday-Saturday, December 27-28 at DeVos Fieldhouse. The MIAA opener is Wednesday, January 8 against Olivet College at DeVos Fieldhouse.

"The MIAA will likely be wide open. I think the competitive last month of the '19 season will continue from the start of this season. Without question, teams will have to be ready every night in order to be successful. The parity in the MIAA is unlike an other year due to the level of quality coaching and the balance of talent."" — Head coach Greg Mitchell

2019 Coaching Staff

Head Coach Greg Mitchell

Head coach Greg Mitchell ‘89 owns a 99-41 career after five seasons leading the Flying Dutchmen. He has guided Hope to three MIAA regular-season championships and three NCAA Division III Championship appearances since returning to his alma mater following a successful 25-year high school coaching career.

Mitchell played at Hope on two MIAA championship teams (1986-87 and 1987-88) and three NCAA Division III Tournament qualifiers (1987-89). As a junior, Mitchell made his deepest run in the national tournament as the Flying Dutchmen reached the 1988 Great Lakes Regional final before falling in double overtime to eventual national champion Ohio Wesleyan, 110-107.

As a player, Greg Mitchell helped the Flying Dutchmen post a 74-27 overall record and a 40-8 mark in MIAA play during his four seasons (1985-89). He still holds the Flying Dutchmen record for career 3-point shooting at 46.4 percent (116-of-250). He averaged a career-high 10.3 points per game his senior season in 1988-89.

Other returners

Clockwise, from top left, Jason Dietz, Nate Davis, Matt Zandstra, Jake Honer and Ryan Gamm

Newcomers

Pictured, clockwise, from top left, Jeff Bikus, Clayton Dyhouse, Jess Hartman, Harris Hawkins; from bottom left, Josh Lilja, Brady Swinehart, Evan Thomas, Joe Wilkins

By The Numbers

  • .848. Hope's win percentage at DeVos Fieldhouse since the facility opened for the 2005-06 season. The Flying Dutchmen own a 173-31 mark there, including an 88-11 mark against MIAA opponents.
  • 16. Consecutive seasons leading all of NCAA Division III in home attendance after averaging 2,200 fans at DeVos Fieldhouse during the 2018-19 season. Both and women's basketball teams topped the nation in home attendance for the 11th consecutive time.
  • 40. MIAA regular-season championships won by the Flying Dutchmen — most in the MIAA — since the first one in 1934.
  • 139. Highest-scoring game for the Flying Dutchmen — a mark that was set in the 2018-19 opener during a 139-129, neutral-site victory against Greenville (Illinois). Hope has scored 100 or more points in a game 154 times and won 151 of those contests.

DeVos Fieldhouse

DeVos Fieldhouse during the 200th Rivalry Game against Calvin on February, 2, 2019
Created By
Alan Babbitt
Appreciate

Credits:

Alan Babbitt, Steven Herppich, Lynne Powe, Tom Renner