A teaser, if you will, about my column coming up in Monday’s print edition and online.
DeWitt, the all-region and all-GLVC first team center on the USI men’s basketball team, may not be returning to USI for a possible fifth year of eligibility. Also, I’ll try to make the argument that the renewal of the annual two-game series between the Eagles and archrival Kentucky Wesleyan — despite Wesleyan’s move from the GLVC to the Great Midwest Athletic Conference — may be better for both schools in the long run.
If DeWitt doesn’t return, he wasn’t technically supposed to anyway. He was a senior in eligibility. Getting an additional year is always problematic — heck, anything involving the NCAA is problematic — but he obviously would have been a welcome addition, especially with senior-to-be forward Aaron Nelson coming off knee surgery. I’d still have liked to see how that duo would play out a full season together. If not, well, so be it.
Playing two region games, but not conference games, against a foe like Wesleyan has to help in the all-important region rankings in Division II. USI has been trying for years to schedule more games against Midwest Region schools, but it hasn’t worked out very well. Next season, the GLVC and the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) will be joined in the region by the conference KWC moved to, the G-MAC. It has eight teams, considerably smaller than the other two leagues (about half the size, in fact), and USI has beaten about half of those teams already. Yes, it’ll mean more competition for the eight NCAA regional berths, but also a greater chance of playing — and winning — games against region teams not in your conference.