Men’s basketball head coach introduces players in annual Chalk Talk
Head coach Mike Brennan announces players and part of starting rotation for 2015-2016 season.
On the dawn of his third season as the men’s basketball head coach, Mike Brennan welcomed parents, fans and students to the annual Chalk Talk and Open Practice in Bender Arena over the weekend. Brennan announced senior guard Jesse Reed and junior center Paris Maragkos as two of the five core starters.
Reed led the team last year in shots taken, totaling 336, but Brennan expects him to take on even more responsibility this season with the graduation of John Schoof and Darius “Pee-Wee” Gardner. Reed averaged 14.3 points per game last season and clocked 38.5 minutes per game.
“[Reed] has a lot on his shoulders but will look to do what he’s been doing all his career,” Brennan said.
Marko Vasic, the team’s second and final senior, will be expected to demonstrate versatility this year, according to Brennan. Vasic stands 6-foot-3 and played center last season.
“He can do everything for us, he’s my utility player,” Brennan said of Vasic.
Maragkos, a 6-foot-9 player from Greece, will serve as the team’s center.
The Eagles will not lack height this season, as four big men, including Maragkos, have been added to the roster. Maragkos and junior forward Leon Tolksdorf, who redshirted last season due to NCAA transfer rules, will be eligible to play.
Brennan also announced that junior Charlie Jones, a walk-on his freshman and sophomore year, is now on scholarship.
“He makes you play him,” Brennan said.
During the 2014-15 season, Jones earned a spot in the starting rotation and ended the year starting 31 of 33 games with over 1,000 minutes played.
AU adds three highly touted freshman recruits, guard Delante Jones, guard James Washington and forward Lonnie River.
The Eagles demonstrated the fundamentals of the “Princeton Offense” during the practice through their shooting, passing and dribbling drills.
“It’s about sharing the ball,” Brennan said in response to a question about his basketball philosophy.
Brennan also expressed his discontent about the new NCAA rules that include changes from a 35 second shot clock to a 30 second shot clock, restricted-area arc expansion and fake fouls penalization.
“I don’t like the rules at all,” he said. “[I’m] not a fan because it’s going towards [the] NBA model of individualism, less of teamwork and sharing.”
AU athletics department is planning a Mike Brennan bobblehead for this season, Brennan said.
“The only thing I asked them was don’t make me look so pale,” Brennan said.
Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the number of senior players on the team. There will be two seniors playing for the Eagles this season.