No. 14 Indiana Tech (10-1) @ Rochester (MI) (8-2)
When: December 10th, 2022 – 2pm CT
Where: Garth Pleasant Arena – Rochester Hills, MI
The current top two teams in the WHAC Standings are set to battle it out! Rochester has won five of its last six contests, while Indiana Tech are winners of five straight games and are coming off a big 14-pt road win at Olivet Nazarene. They are 10-3 all-time in the series and has won three straight games in this matchup. However, the game last season in Rochester Hills was just a 4-pt game. As good as Indiana Tech is playing, Rochester has the ability to keep this close and find a way to get the upset!
Rog Stein 6’7 5y
Rog Stein is a part of the power trio that Indiana Tech displays with Grant Smith and Josh Kline. The trio has won a ton of games in their careers and decided to make their return for a 5th year in hopes of making a run to Municiple Auditorium and towards a National Championship. Rog has shown, throughout his career, the ability to be a game changer on both ends of the floor. He can takeover games both by scoring and by dominating on the glass. He is coming off of a 12pt, 9reb, 5stl game and is a real mismatch nightmare for teams.
James Ballard Jr. 6’5 Sr
Ballard, along with Anthony Cukaj lead the balanced Warrior attack. Both are capable of going off for 20 in a given night. Ballard though, has the ability to be a game changer with his ability to crash the glass and they are going to need to crash the glass in this one to win. The 6’5 Ballard, will most likely get matched up against Stein so it will be a fun battle to watch between the two.
20 Blake Davidson, 6’1 So.
24 Steve Helm, 6’2 RS Jr.
01 Grant Smith, 6’6 5Y
02 Rog Stein, 6’6 5Y
22 Josh Kline, 6’6 5Y
11 Gunner Walters, 5’11 Fr.
03 Anthony Cukaj, 6’3 Jr.
00 Brandon Michrina, 6’4 Jr.
01 James Ballard Jr. – 6’5 Sr.
14 Stavros Polatoglou – 6’11 So.
As mentioned above, this Indiana Tech team is a veteran group, who knows how to play together and has won a ton of games together. They have a signature win over Indiana Wesleyan earlier in the season and their only defeat was on the road, to their crosstown rivals, Saint Francis (IN). They bring in a balanced attack led by the Stein, Smith, Kline trio we mentioned before. The Warriors are tough, physical and play together. They have shooting on the perimeter; they crash the glass and they have looked like a team poised for a run to Kansas City!
This Rochester squad is just two years removed from a WHAC Championship. Dr. Klint Pleasant, who took the reins from his father, the legendary Garth Pleasant, has his Warriors playing good basketball right now! They did fall, at home, to Madonna, but we saw this team take D1 Oakland to the buzzer earlier this year. They are going to have to shoot the ball well, but this is a game they have to have if they want to be real contenders for a WHAC Title! The fun part is that this is still a fairly young group, who is getting to play in some big games already. Rochester isn’t interested in waiting until next year though, they are out to prove they are ready this season and this is a big opportunity to prove just that!
** Credit to Camren Clouthier of C2 Visual Media for the Rochester photos