Marian_053 Joel 4The men’s basketball team makes its biggest transition at the head coach position, with Keith Salscheider taking over from former head coach, Neal Ring.

The former semi-professional fully embraces a process, rather than goal-oriented system, as players are allowed to make mistakes while expanding their skill set in a fast-paced offense.

Salscheider has the benefit of leaning on seasoned veterans Joel Borchardt, and Matthew McGivern, in their final year, to mentor younger players on the squad.

Borchardt, the team’s leading rebounder and scorer, is known as a lock-down defender, and ranked second in the NAC in rebounds per game (8.8). He also averaged 12 points per game, and shot 46% from the field in 2011-12.

McGivern aids the offense with his quickness and passing at the point guard position. McGivern averaged 4.3 assists per game, and broke the school record last season with 304 career assists. He also averaged 1.4 steals per game.

Flanking McGivern at the guard positions are Kyle Kutz and Matt Hunter. Kutz brings versatility (6.5 ppg., 4.3 rpg.), and Hunter (11.2 ppg.) remains a threat from beyond the arc.

Brett Cashner is slated at the post position, and his ability to get open underneath the basket will be a valuable asset to the team. Cashner steadily improved throughout 2011-12 in averaging 7.9 points per game and 4.2 rebounds per game.

Maranatha loses valuable reserve, Caleb Burch this season, but has Tanner Moses, freshmen Matt Rueb (6-4), and Jackson Miller (6-5) as viable options off the bench.

The Crusaders put their chemistry to the test in an away match against the University of Chicago on Thursday, November 15 at 7:00 p.m.