Freshman to have pivotal role on team

Justin Schmithorst, Sports Editor

A freshman, Fred Mulbah, is to start at point guard for the men’s basketball team. The point guard is the one who is supposed to run a team’s offense and is one of the most important positions.

Men’s basketball head coach Bob Rukavina said that he is starting Mulbah because of the high roster turnover from last year, and that he likes what he sees from Mulbah. 

“He is a terrific passer, and he has a high basketball IQ,” Rukavina said. 

The basketball team has six freshmen on its 14-player roster, and they lost three seniors last year on an 11-man team. 

“In my 30 years of coaching, this has to be one of the youngest teams I’ve ever coached,” Rukavina said. “It’s one of the better classes, on paper, that I’ve had in the last decade.” 

Sophomore guard Josh Wise said he thinks Mulbah is to be the next big thing on campus.

Mulbah has to replace last year’s point guard, Dale Clancy. 

“He has big shoes to fill, but he’s capable of doing great things for us right away.  We’re looking forward to Mulbah having an outstanding freshman year and in turn a great career,” Wise said.

Wise said Mulbah was quick to learn the team’s system and formations, and the only weakness he could tarnishing Mulbah’s freshman year would be growing pains. 

Wise said Mulbah learning the system quickly will be instrumental in the team returning to conference playoffs. 

Last season, the Mountain Cats finished fifth out of nine teams in the West division of the conference, with a 13-9 conference record. 

In the opening round of the conference playoffs, they lost to Edinboro, 67-77.

Mulbah said finishing the business of winning the conference is one of his goals for his first year. 

“I’m setting expectations high for us this year not only because I have confidence, but, I feel like we have the guys to play with anyone,” Mulbah said. 

Mulbah said he hasn’t played point guard for long; he transitioned to the  position in his junior year of high school. 

“I matured and became a good point guard during my senior year,” Mulbah said. 

Mulbah said that, despite the responsibilities, he is anticipating the chance to play and develop and that being the challenge doesn’t faze him. 

Passing the ball to create scoring opportunities is something another guard, sophomore Marcin Wiszomirski, says he wants to develop. 

Wiszomirski saidthat one of his goals is to play unselfish basketball and pass the ball around to keep the defense alert. 

Wiszormirski said that his personal goal for the season is to use his experience to play more efficiently, and read defenses to set up offensive scoring opportunities. 

Wise said he hopes to help out the inexperienced Mulbah by being a leader and showing him, and the five other younger players, an identity. 

The players will get the chance to show their development during an exhibition game Nov. 1 against Pitt-Oakland.