Dartmouth Season Preview – Is a Stingy Defense Enough?

The general consensus around the Dartmouth campus is that we are headed for a down year. The loss of our two best players, Gabas Maldunas to graduation and Alex Mitola to George Washington, does not bode well for the future of Dartmouth basketball.

That being said, the buzz around the team suggests that may not be the case. This is Malik Gill’s team now. While he has seen limited playing time in the past due to living in Alex Mitola’s shadow, he will now be the floor general and playmaker. Gill’s underrated athletic ability and quick hands will make him one of the better defenders in the Ivy League, and he will wreak havoc on D.

The big question mark comes on offense. Malik can make big plays. He can win you games, but he can also lose you games. At the end of the day, the fate of this team stands on his shoulders. Will he make smart plays, good passes and good decisions, or will we see the turnover-prone Malik with bad shot selection? Gill’s nightly performance will be the biggest factor in determining factor the success of Dartmouth men’s basketball this year.

I have heard rumblings of lockdown defense. It currently looks as though the starting lineup will be defensive-minded and could very well be composed of four seniors and reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year, Miles Wright. With freshman Evan Boudreaux in the mix, the team will have both veteran players and at least one talented freshman coming of the bench. Lastly, I would look for a big season from senior Connor Boehm. This defense-oriented team will need to rely heavily on Connor for scoring in the half-court. Per usual, the Big Green will struggle scoring in the half-court, and will look to run and score on the break. When they settle down, look for Boehm and his much improved three-point shot to be a big part of the offense.

A lot of things will need to fall into place for Dartmouth to have a successful season. They say defense wins championships, but I don’t think this team will be talented enough to win one, especially with the inevitably small lineups that coach Paul Cormier will be forced to play. If Malik reaches his potential, look for Dartmouth to surprise and finish in the top three in the Ivy League.
It is much more realistic, however, to say that Dartmouth will once again finish in the middle of the pack, with a couple of upset wins and a couple of bad losses. The team and coach Cormier are just about as predictable as the cold weather we will be seeing all winter in Hanover. We will hope for the best, but when it comes to Dartmouth basketball, nothing surprises us anymore. This is ultimately just another .500 team with a chip on its shoulder.

1 thought on “Dartmouth Season Preview – Is a Stingy Defense Enough?”

  1. What happened to the great shooter Eli (Three-li) Harrison? They have no known-down shooters on this team, and Eli would and could take the big shot….plus create off the dribble. It was fun to watch, and the Big Green can sure use his instant offense.

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