After the university was voted into full membership with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)’s Division III Membership Committee earlier in 2018, both the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams are looking ahead to a strong competitive season this coming winter.
Illinois Tech first announced its membership into the NCAA Division III Membership Committee in the summer of 2018, with President Alan Cramb going on to state that this status is “an excellent complement to the world-class education our students receive.” Membership in this division places Illinois Tech in the largest NCAA division, alongside over 450 other institutions and allows access to division championships, post-graduate education opportunities, conferences, seminars, workshops, and other benefits for student athletes and staff members.
Looking ahead to the coming season, Men’s Basketball Head Coach Todd Kelly expressed how his team “has very high expectations this season after going 42-13 the past two seasons.” He went on to explain to TechNews how this record means “the team features 7 seniors whom have had the most successful two-year run in school history.” More specifically, Kelly described three potential All-Americans on the team: “Anthony Mosley has led the team in scoring 3 consecutive years and is a top 5 point guard in the country. Jake Digiorgio has averaged a double-double 3 consecutive years and has a chance to lead the country in rebounding and finish with over 1000 points and 1000 rebounds. Max Hisatake averaged a double-double as a sophomore and is poised for a breakout season.” With the goals of reaching the conference championship, an NCAA tournament berth, and the NCAA Final Four, Kelly concluded by reiterating how “our team is one of the most improved programs in the country after only winning 6 games over a three-year stretch, we have won 42 games the last two seasons.”
For the Women’s Basketball team, Head Coach Usha Gilmore also expressed excitement over the team’s first season as part of both the NCAA Division III Membership Committee and the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC). “We begin the season with three home games the first being Tuesday, November 13 against St. Mary's College of Indiana at 7:00 p.m., against Adrian College on November 1, and against Lake Forest College on November 19. Gilmore went on to describe specific players of note, including “sophomore Shannon O'Donnel, who earned Division III All-Independent Rookie of the Year award last year and averages 17.9 points per game (ppg), Junior Erin Effimoff, who was Division III All- Independent First Team and average 9.8 ppg and 5.8 rebounds per game (rpg), and Junior Madison Davis who eared Division III All-Independent second team honors last season who is a sharp shooter and averages 9 ppg.”
Although the university’s primary and historic designations as a technologically and academically focused university continue to reign supreme, it is still important to lend consideration to the well-roundedness of our students outside the classroom. In what will hopefully become a permanent resumption of Illinois Tech Athletics coverage in the pages of TechNews, let this article stand as a commitment by the student newspaper to supporting our peers in Illinois Tech Athletics.