Season At A Glance — Columbia

This is the third of what will eventually be capsules for each of the NYC teams when I’m sure their season has concluded.

Team: Columbia

Record: 15-15 (4-10 in the Ivy League)

Season High: Sweeping round-robin at Loyola Marymount

Season Low: Losing at Brown 94-68

Really Good At: Defensive Rebounding — Columbia was strong on the defensive glass all season thanks to the efforts of Mark Cisco, John Daniels and Blaise Staab. They were first in the Ivy League during conference play in defensive rebounding and 20th in the country overall.

Struggled With: The rest of defense — A defense that looked very strong in non-conference play struggled during Ivy League play. The Lions failed to force turnovers or prevent opponents from getting to the line and it resulted in the second worst defense in the league during conference play.

Key Losses:

  • Matt Johnson (defensive stopper that started a few early season games)
  • Blaise Staab (quality rebounder and strong body in the paint)
  • Chris Crockett (three-point specialist and extra ball handler off the bench)
  • Steve Egee (captain and played with a lot of heart, was third on team in DR%)

Key Returnees:

  • Brian Barbour, Jr., G (All-Ivy quality point guard, 15.5 PPG, 4.5 APG)
  • Noruwa Agho, Sr., G (played only two games due to knee injury)
  • Mark Cisco, Jr., C (10 PPG, 7.2 RPG)
  • Meiko Lyles, So., G (10.6 PPG, 43.9% from three)

Key Quotes:

“Meiko being able to play 30-plus minutes a game is important. Barbour going through two years of playing that way it’s important. … We’ve got a little more experience that should help.” — Kyle Smith

“It definitely gives us some confidence. Going into this year we hadn’t really had a taste of being in games and being competitive in a couple games. We have experience now. That always helps.” — Brian Barbour

“We have high expectations going into next year. Not many people would go 4-10 and be excited for next year, but I think with this team it’s going to be a very good year for us.” — Barbour

Outlook: Good. There are reasons for Columbia fans to be excited for 2012-13. First of all most of the talent will return. Better yet it’ll be complemented by some players that are talented in their own right. Adding Steve Frankoski and Noruwa Agho to the base built up this season should give Kyle Smith a deep rotation next season. The question becomes can this team get tougher? Can it win the close games? Some of that is luck, but some of it is finding a way to get the best shot possible under two minutes, making free throws and locking down defensively. Still, it’s possible that Brian Barbour and Mark Cisco could both be All-Ivy performers next season. Meiko Lyles gives Columbia a third option and with a year of experience Alex Rosenberg, Cory Osetowski and Noah Springwater should be able to provide help off the bench. How does Agho integrate back into the rotation? What happens with a healthy Frankoski? Those are good questions for Smith to have to deal with next season.

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