Another run to the NCAA Tournament for the U.N.I. basketball team may depend upon how the Panthers are able to replace three seniors in the starting lineup. Guard Ali Farokhmanesh, center Jordan Egelseder and Missouri Valley player of the Adam Koch closed their careers with a loss to Michigan State last Friday in the semifinals of the midwest regional.
U.N.I. coach Ben Jacobson says that’s part of the way things work and when you have more seniors, it is harder to replace them. He was asked if the run to the “sweet sixteen” will help their recruiting efforts. Jacobson says it will, as they’ve had a great response from recruits and they expect to see benefits.
Still to be determined is the future of backup center Lucas O’Rear, who may have a future in the sport of baseball. He stayed at U.N.I. even though the school discontinued its program. Jacobson says O’Rear has indicated he would like to be back and he says they will talk soon about that. He says O’Rear’s dad really wants him to finish his college degree before he moves on to anything else, such as baseball.
By Elwin Huffman KOEL Oelwein