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Case on the radar

Julien Person is one of five seniors for the Spartans, who are ranked for the first time.
Case athletics photo by Martin Stanek Photography

While Northeast Ohio continues celebrating the Buckeyes’ national championship and waiting for the Cavaliers to improve, there’s a nice story in Cleveland courtesy of the Case Western Reserve men’s basketball team.

A program-best 12-2 record to start the season has the Spartans ranked for the first time in program history in the D3hoops.com Top 25 poll. The balanced, experienced and talented Spartans are ranked 25th in this week’s poll following a pair of wins last week over New York University and Brandeis. They are one of four University Athletic Association teams that are ranked in this week’s poll.

“I am really proud of my guys and we’re off to a good start,” 12th-year CWRU coach Sean McDonnell said. “Being nationally ranked is a reflection of the hard work of our players and assistant coaches. While we’re happy to be recognized, I am confident our players won’t rest on their laurels and think that this enough.”

Playing a key role in the success, senior forward Dane McLoughlin has averaged team bests of 16.4 points and 6.5 rebounds with a team-high 43 three-pointers. Ranked sixth in the UAA in scoring and 10th in rebounding, McLoughlin is just two treys shy of tying John Link's (1999-03) program career record (199).

Senior guard Julien Person provided the late heroics in Sunday's comeback overtime win against Brandeis with 17 points. He scored 15 of his points, including the game-tying free throws with 21 seconds remaining, after intermission. For the season, Person is averaging 11.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and a team-high 1.6 blocks.

Junior point guard Jimmy Holman averages 7.6 points and a team-best 5.0 assists. Off of the bench, twin freshman forwards Eric Black and David Black have averaged 10.0 and 8.8 points, respectively. The Black twins helped CWRU win the battle of the benches against Brandeis, 33-7.

In demonstrating their balance and depth, the Spartans have been led by a different player in scoring in each of their first three conference games. McLoughlin’s sixth career double-double (20 points, 11 rebounds) led the Spartans against Brandeis. Person’s 14 points led five players in double figures in the win over NYU. Black delivered 15 points to lead Case in the win over Carnegie Mellon.

“We have great experience, five seniors who play important roles and a lot...

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Columnist

Rob Knox

A former Division III Sports Information Director at Lincoln University, Rob Knox also worked at ESPN, Kutztown and at the Delaware County Daily Times. He was named the CoSIDA Rising Star Award College Division winner and won three writing awards for various game stories including the 2007 D-III sectional triple-OT game between Guilford and Lincoln. In the past, he has also written articles for SLAM magazine and the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is a die-hard Philadelphia sports fan, a graduate of Lincoln and is from Chester, Pa.
Previous columnists:
2010-13: Brian Falzarano
2010: Marcus Fitzsimmons
2008-2010: Evans Clinchy
Before 2008: Mark Simon

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