Loading Downloads

A weekly look into the Division III Great Lakes Region men’s basketball season.


Ryan Bruns. A name rival OAC schools have tried to game plan around for 4 years has finally graduated with a degree from Ohio Northern University. I sat down with Ryan as we walked through growing up in small town NW Ohio at small school division powerhouse Marion Local to the recruiting process that landed him in Ada at ONU. After a stellar career that puts him up as one of most dominant players the Ohio Athletic Conference has ever seen, Ryan has signed a professional basketball contract with Aquimisa Carbajosa in Spain. We talked about the transition from the Division III game to the professional level in Spain, both culturally and on the court.

All of this and more in the fourth edition of Profiles in Sports.


Image result for ryan bruns basketball

Play Now

Conference play is reaching it's midpoint across the region as we enter the final 5 weeks of the regular season. I recapped races that are beginning to open up a bit (AMCC and PAC) and ones that look as muddled as ever (HCAC and MIAA). Joining me this week in the Coaches Corner is Capital head coach Damon Goodwin (29:45). We talked about his 13-2 Crusaders and why he's not surprised at their success on the court this year even while a few of us outside the Bexley camp have raised a few eyebrows this year as well as what they need to do to see out this meat grinding OAC title race.

Damon Goodwin

Play Now

The College of Wooster men's basketball team will host the third annual Great Lakes Invitational during the 2019-20 season, as announced by event founder Ryan Whitnable on Thursday.

The eight-team invitational will be played Dec. 28-29, 2019 at Timken Gymnasium. The field includes five teams from the Great Lakes Region – Alma College, John Carroll University, Marietta College, Ohio Wesleyan University, and Wooster – and Keene State College, Salisbury University, and York College. The field has combined to make 23 appearances in the NCAA Div. III Championships over the last five years, and six of the eight teams have made the national tournament at least three times.

"It's an honor to be able to bring the 2019 Great Lakes Invitational to The College of Wooster," said Whitnable. "Wooster has a long and storied basketball history. Combine that with one of the best venues in Div. III basketball and you have a perfect host to some of the most elite programs from across the country."

"We are very excited and pleased to have the 2019 Great Lakes Invitational serve as the 57th annual E.M. "Mose" Hole/Wooster Kiwanis Classic," said Wooster head coach Steve Moore. "Ryan has assembled an excellent field of eight teams. We will have two days of highly competitive college basketball with outstanding attendance and great atmosphere. The event will be a very enjoyable experience for the participating teams and fans."

Game times are set for 1, 3, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. each day, and predetermined matchups will be set at a later date.

Marietta hosted the first Great Lakes Invitational in 2017, while Hope College served as the host this season.

"This event was designed to bring together the best programs from the Great Lakes Region and from the other regions of Div. III basketball for a two-day wall to wall schedule of tournament quality games," said Whitnable.


What the other participating coaches are saying about the Great Lakes Invitational:

"I really liked the idea of this tournament from its inception, and we're very thankful and excited for the opportunity to compete in it. Playing this type of competition always gives you a great measuring stick on how your team stacks up against the rest of the region, and I always believe it prepares you well for the rigors of conference play." - Sam Hargraves, Alma

"We are beyond excited to participate in the Great Lakes Invitational. Wooster is a wonderful venue for this occasion because of the renovations they have made to their facility. This is an excellent opportunity for our storied program to compete against the nation's best." - Pete Moran, John Carroll

"The Keene State men's basketball program is very excited and honored to participate in the Great Lakes Invitational in the 2019-2020 season. We try to put together a schedule that will challenge our team and this tournament definitely does that. We look forward to competing against a field of nationally renowned basketball programs hosted by the basketball program that has been the most consistent in the country at our level over the last twenty plus seasons." - Ryan Cain, Keene State

"We are excited to play in the Great Lakes Invitational at Wooster. We were fortunate enough to host the inaugural GLI in Marietta and it was an amazing event. We are looking forward to seeing seven other high caliber teams next year while also getting to test ourselves versus great competition. These types of events have a NCAA Tournament feel to them and we love putting our guys in these types of situations and environments." - Jon VanderWal, Marietta

"We are tremendously excited and honored to play in the 2019 Great Lakes Invitational. The field that has been put together will be a great challenge for all the participating teams while providing Div. III basketball fans a chance to see some outstanding basketball." - Mike DeWitt, Ohio Wesleyan

"We are thrilled to be able to be a part of the Great Lakes Invitational. The teams taking part in the event will allow top-notch competition throughout, and each program will come out tested and prepared for the remainder of their season. Aside from what happens in competition, being able to have our team travel to the Midwest will be an amazing opportunity for our young men to see an area they may not have been able to explore before. We look forward to broadening our horizons at the Great Lakes Invitational, both on and off the court." - Brian McDermott, Salisbury

"York College is looking forward to competing in the Great Lakes Invitational next season. (We're) excited to be part of such a great field. We enjoy playing against the best competition we can find and the field at next year's tournament guarantees it. It will be an honor to test ourselves against some of the very best in the Great Lakes Region and beyond." - Matt Hunter, York

Play Now

The calendar has flipped over to 2019 and all 6 conference races are starting to heat up. I recapped the big games that took place over the holidays and who was able to boost their resumes and who put a dent in them. MIAA play is underway this week and a surprising (or not so surprising) pair of teams sit atop the conference after 2 games. Meanwhile, the Heartland race continues to be as thick as ever as 5 teams sit within a game of each other at the top. Finally, I previewed the pair of monster games this week that will shape the championship races in the OAC and NCAC: Capital @ Marietta and Wittenberg @ Wabash. This week in the Coaches Corner is Bluffton head coach Guy Neal (34:15). After being picked 7th preseason, his Beavers are off to a 10-3 start and are right in the thick of the Heartland race. We talked about the young group of guys he has this year and what they need to do if they are to lift their program's first Heartland championship this year. All of this and more in another great hour of Great Lakes talk.


Guy Neal

Play Now

The 2018 Great Lakes Invitational is upon us and a great 2 days of basketball is set to descend upon the DeVos Fieldhouse on the campus of Hope College. I previewed the event and highlighted the best match-up of the event. Conference play for 2018 is nearly behind us as teams start to make their way across the country to play holiday tournaments. I reset all the conference races in this week's Around the Region segment and discuss the best holiday tournaments to keep an eye on over the next couple of weeks. Joining me this week in the Coaches Corner is La Roche's Hermie Carmichael (21:02). We talked about how his Redhawks are following up last year's AMCC regular season and tournament championships and the challenge and opportunity ahead of them this week at the Great Lakes Invitational. All of this and more in another hour of Great Lakes discussion!

Hermie Carmichael

Play Now

We're a couple of weeks into conference play and some teams have begun to make statements to the rest of their conference opponents with big early wins. In the NCAC, Wabash went on the road and knocked off Ohio Wesleyan at Branch Rickey for the first time since 2010 and then followed it up with a last second winner to knock off #15 Wooster in Crawfordsville. Mount Union remained unbeaten in OAC as they dusted John Carroll in Alliance and sit alone atop the standings while unbeaten Marietta and Capital give chase. Joining me this week in the Coaches Corner is Wabash head coach Kyle Brumett (23:40). His young Little Giants are off to a perfect 7-0 start and are looking to put another "W" in the NCAC championship conversation that Wooster, Wittenberg, and Ohio Wesleyan have dominated for so long. Also in this edition, a review of this week's Great Lakes Power Poll, a preview the Great Lakes Game of the Week, and dip a bit into the mailbag. All this and more in another great hour of Great Lakes talk!


Kyle Brumett

Play Now

Conference play is off and running for 5 of the 6 conferences in the Great Lakes Region and teams begin the jostling of positions as we head towards February. Nobody in the region had a better week than Marietta basketball. Wins over #7 Wittenberg and OAC favorite John Carroll have the Pioneers feeling good as we head towards the holidays. La Roche took Round 1 against Penn St.-Behrend in Pittsburgh this week and has the early inside track in the AMCC. I wrap us the rest the teams and conferences in this week's Around the Region segment. Joining me this week in the Coaches Corner is Franciscan head coach Joe Wallace (24:25). A program only 10 years out from it's rebirth, the Barons are off to their best D3 start in history. I talked to Coach Wallace about the success they've had thus far this year, as well as the plan to continuing to grow this program into an AMCC force. 


Joe Wallace

Play Now

The 2018-2019 season is off and running around the region as I set the table for all 6 conference races in the region. Joining me this week in the Coaches Corner is Marietta head coach Jon VanderWal (6:36). We talked about his team's 4-0 start, the OAC this year, as well as reflect back on his recent milestone becoming the all time wins leader at Marietta. If you like two DIII basketball junkies diving deep into the region, you'll love my conversation with the voice of the Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets Brendan Gulick (24:57). We preview all 6 of the region's conferences and give our picks for who may surprise some folks this year as well as who might disappoint. All this and more in another great hour of Great Lakes talk!

VanderWal_Jon_2016-17  Image may contain: one or more people and indoor

Play Now

The brackets have been released and the NCAA Tournament is finally here! Congratulations to the 8 teams who are dancing into March:

HCAC - Hanover

MIAA - Hope

NCAC - Wittenberg, Wooster

OAC - John Carroll, Marietta

PAC - Thomas More

AMCC - La Roche


Tonight I broke down each quarter of the bracket including a detailed look at the match ups facing the 8 Great Lakers along with my projections for each of those pods, as well as Final 4 projections and my pick to win the national title. Also featured tonight was a mailbag featuring your questions including a discussion around why Ohio Northern was ranked ahead of Ohio Wesleyan in the final regional rankings. Finally, the Coach's Corner was packed tonight as a quartet of coaches joined me tonight to talk about the weekends that lie ahead for them. Joining me were (in order of appearance) Pete Moran of John Carroll (28:06), Greg Mitchell of Hope (45:14), Jon VanderWal of Marietta (1:01:28), and Hermie Carmichael of La Roche (1:14:25). 



Play Now

Two weeks remain in the regular season and some conference races are coming down to the wire. Wittenberg has nearly locked up the NCAC while 3 teams still remain tied atop the MIAA. I review all 6 conferences and predict who emerges as each's conference champion. The first regional rankings come out this week and I predict where you might see your team on the always important listing that the tournament committee will use to select teams for the NCAA Tournament. This week in the Coach's Corner, Olivet head coach Steve Ernst joins me on the show (27:45). We talk about Olivet's best season in years as well as if they can see these last 4 games out and win the Comets first outright MIAA title since 1972.

                                      Steve Ernst    

Play Now

Load more