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Small colleges: Great depth, balance have Aurora off to fast start

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Updated: December 12, 2012 10:09PM



With Aurora off to a 4-0 start in Northern Athletics Conference play, including a 106-66 thrashing of Dominican that coach James Lancaster called ‘‘the best game in five or six years here,’’ Lancaster has learned a few things about
his team.

‘‘We think we have good balance on the inside and outside, we’re playing good defense and we’re rebounding well,’’ he said.

And the Spartans (5-3 overall) are doing it without narrowing their rotation to the seven, eight or maybe nine players typical once conference play gets under way. They go 13 or 14 deep, which brings its own challenges. How do you keep that many players happy with their playing time?

‘‘We’ve had a few games where we played 12 players at least 10 minutes a game,’’ Lancaster said. ‘‘Kids are concerned about playing time, but . . . they’re buying into the team concept, and I think winning helps that.’’

With home games coming up Saturday against Millikin and Monday against Blackburn before a trip to the D3 Las Vegas Shootout, junior point guard Marious Lobdell is emerging as a force, averaging 16.1 points in 21.8 minutes. But his 25 turnovers more than offset his 22 assists.

‘‘He had five assists and one turnover the other night [against Dominican],’’ Lancaster said. ‘‘We’re trying to work on that, to get his assist-to-turnover ratio where it should be, but he’s shooting a high percentage. Kalmon Stokes (10.8 ppg) is a freshman coming in who really shows a lot of promise, and we think he’s going to be a good ballplayer for us.

‘‘And one the Chicago readers might relate to is [junior] Scott Laskowski (13.3 ppg). His dad [John Laskowski] played for the Bulls and was on the Bobby Knight Indiana teams. He was our MVP last year, a returning all-conference player, and he has strung together four nice games in a row.”

Karp moves up

Brad Karp, a junior guard at St. Xavier (7-3, 7-2 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference), moved into the top 10 on the school’s career scoring list by scoring 28 points in a 76-61 victory Saturday against Purdue-Calumet. With 1,525 points, Karp is 37 points behind No. 9 man Jeremy Holmes, who wrapped up his Cougars career in 2003.

In two games last week, Karp totaled 50 points and 19 rebounds and was named the CCAC men’s basketball player of the week.

All-Americans

Running backs Scottie Williams of Elmhurst and John Borsellino of Benedictine were named to the first team on the American Football Coaches Association’s Division III All-America team.

Williams was the selection
at running back after rushing
for 2,046 yards and 22
touchdowns and catching 23 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns. He helped the Bluejays to a 10-2 record, a share of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin championship and their first Division III playoff berth.

Borsellino, also a first-teamer in 2011, was selected as the all-purpose player. He ran for 928 yards and six touchdowns, caught 48 passes for 440 yards and three touchdowns, returned kickoffs for 421 yards and a touchdown and returned punts for 127 yards for the 5-5 Eagles.



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