ROCKFORD, Ill. – The Rockford University men's basketball team enters the 2017-18 season looking to make a push for one of the six spots in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Tournament after the Regents found themselves on the outside looking in a year ago. RU dropped six games by 10 points or less in the 2016-17 season with all six of those games being against NACC opponents. With multiple key players back, as well as a solid crop of newcomers, Rockford appears poised for a strong season.
The Regents return a group of players who saw significant playing time last season but will have to try and find a way to replace academic all-american Zach Wallace. Junior Tony Diemer (Rockford, Ill.) looks to be the leading candidate to pick up some of the workload after an outstanding sophomore season. Diemer was the second leading scorer (19.0 ppg) and the seventh leading rebounder (8.0 rpg) in the NACC a year ago. Sophomore Ben Weber (South Beloit, Ill.) looks to build off of his impressive freshman campaign. Weber was named to the NACC All-Freshmen Team after averaging 10.5 points per game, which was second in the conference amongst all freshmen. Senior Trae Blumhorst (Mendota, Ill.) should help contribute offensively as he scored 9.4 points per game and led the Regents with 4.2 assists per game. Seniors Ryan Fiorucci (Machesney Park, Ill.), Ben Temrowski (Rochester, Mich.) and Nicolas Ramos (Litchfield Park, Ariz.) will all also play a vital role in the team's success this season.
In addition to all of its key returners, the Regents appear to be stockpiled with an impressive group of newcomers. Sophomore Andrew Squires (Pecatonica, Ill.) joins the team after transferring from Rock Valley College. Squires hopes to use his size on the court to make an immediate impact for the Regents. Junior Will Adams (Chicago, Ill.) comes to Rockford after spending two seasons at the College of Lake County. Fellow junior Taylor Krocker (Portage, Wis.) joins the team from the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo where he was named to first team all-conference. Accompanying the aforementioned transfers is a talented group of freshmen. Freshmen Brandon Emerick (Elkhart, Ind.) and Kevin Diemer (Rockford, Ill.) should make an impact on the court this season. Emerick concluded his high school career by being selected first team all-conference his senior year. Diemer also earned first team all-conference honors his senior year in high school.
"We are excited about our roster and the team chemistry this season," Head Coach Andrew Weber stated. "Early in the year we are going to have more questions than answers, but I feel that each day we are getting the answers to our questions. We have a lot of versatility on both ends of the floor, but right now we are focused on closeouts and defensive rotations."
The RU men's basketball team opens its season at home on Wednesday, November 15 against Beloit College. Tip-off is scheduled for a 7 PM in the Seaver Center.