By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director
SALEM, Ore. -- The Willamette University men's basketball team begins the 2015-16 season at Cone Field House on Friday, Nov. 13, as the Bearcats take on Macalester College from Minnesota. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. (PST).
Willamette also plays at home on Saturday, Nov. 14, when Southern Oregon Unviersity will be the opponent. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.
The Bearcats are excited to begin the season on Gordie James Court. Willamette finished 6-5 at home last season, including a 5-1 record in the Bearcats' last six home games.
Leading WU this season will be three players who contributed double-digit scoring averages in 2014-15.
Brandon Luedtke (Sr., F, Meridian, ID/Mountain View HS) averaged 14.1 points per game and was chosen both First Team All-NWC and Second Team All-West Region. Brendon McCullough (So., G, San Antonio, TX/Home Schooled) chipped in 10.8 points per game, while Bridger Harlington (Sr., W, Lake Tapps, WA/Auburn Riverside HS) averaged 10.5 points per contest.
Luedtke led the Northwest Conference with 9.4 rebounds per game. He also ranked first in the NWC with a school record 2.6 steals per game. In his career, Luedtke has scored 637 points, grabbed 481 rebounds and earned 114 steals.
Other top returning players include Alex Brown (Sr., F, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) and Nico Troplent (So., W, Los Angeles, CA/Cathedral HS). Brown missed most of the 2014-15 season due to an injury, but averaged 11.1 points per game in 2013-14. Troplent scored 9.0 points per game, while competing in 26 games as a freshman.
Willamette also has seven other returning players, giving the Bearcats one of their most experienced lineups in recent years.
Four starters -- Luedtke, Harlington, McCullough and Troplent -- return this season. The fifth starter, Kyle McNally ('15), graduated this past spring. Brown may be a starter as well, after starting 14 games in 2013-14.
The Bearcats feature three freshmen on the varsity roster. They are Trent Callan (G, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS), CJ Walker (F, Bellflower, CA/Mayfair HS) and Jameson Willems (F, Billings, MT/Skyview HS).