AU men’s basketball head coach Jeff Jones hosted the third annual Open Practice and Chalk Talk session Oct. 25 at Bender Arena, discussing the return of senior forward Stephen Lumpkins and who’s impressed him during preseason practice.
Jones talked about how Lumpkins would play alongside junior center Tony Wroblicky, and how that will impact the system he runs.
“We’re going to make it ugly [and] we’re going to look a lot different than we did last year,” Jones said. “There will be different faces, a different style of play and having two big guys out there together is a big reason why.”
Jones mentioned senior point guard Daniel Munoz as one of the most improved returning players for the Eagles. A year ago, Munoz finished first in the Patriot League in assists, second in assist to turnover ratio and third in 3-point shooting percentage.
“Not only is [Munoz] playing better, but he’s working harder,” Jones said. “He’s playing really, really well. He’s in the best condition he has ever been in, and he’s more vocal.”
Aside from Munoz, Jones says he has been impressed with what he has seen from Wroblicky and sophomore shooting guard John Schoof.
One of the biggest questions facing the Eagles is who will fill the scoring void left by the graduation of Charles Hinkle and Troy Brewer. A 2012 All-Patriot League First Team selection, Hinkle led the Eagles in scoring while Brewer was AU’s second leading scorer last season.
With senior guard Blake Jolivette out for at least a good chunk of the season due to a torn ACL, the opportunity is there for new players to break through.
AU is predicted to finish third in the Patriot League preseason poll, behind defending champion Lehigh and Bucknell.
The Eagles will host Mary Washington Oct. 31 at 7:30 p.m. in their first and only exhibition of the year. AU will then take on Minnesota Nov. 9 in Minneapolis for its season opener.