The Flying Dutchmen will be seeking to maintain its tradition of excellence with a team that includes eight returning letterwinners from an 08-09 squad that finished second in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA), competed in the NCAA Division III tournament and poisted a 21-8 season record.
Coach Glenn Van Wieren, who begins his 33rd year at the helm of the Flying Dutchmen, has a team that includes three freshman prospects, four sophomores, five juniors and two seniors. Van Wieren enters the season the sixth winningest active Division III coach with 639 victories and a 75% winning percentage.
Tri-captains of the team will be junior forward Will Bowser of Midland (HH Dow HS), junior guard Peter Bunn of Lansing (Lansing Christian HS), and senior forward Chris Nelis of Zeeland (Zeeland East HS). Bunn was named to the All-MIAA second team in 08-09.
Other returning letterwinners include senior guard Scott Jungling of Zeeland (Zeeland West HS), sophomoreforward Nathaniel King of Sterling Heights (Henry Ford II HS), sophomore guard David Krombeen of Grandville (Grandville HS), junior guard Ty Tanis of Jenison (Jenison HS), and junior center Andy Venema of Hudsonville (Tri-Unity Christian HS).
Three players were members of the junior varsity squad a year ago -- junior center Adam Dickerson of Muskegon (Mona Shores HS), sophomore guard Logan Neil of Holland (West Ottawa HS), and sophomore guard Ryan Ross of St. Joseph (Michigan Lutheran HS).
Freshman prospects include center Josh Holwerda of Gallup, N.M., guard Jared Mysliweic of Wyoming (Tri-Unity Christian HS), and forward Nate Snuggerud of Zeeland (Zeeland East HS).
The Flying Dutchmen will play eight of their first 11 games at Hope's DeVos Fieldhouse, including three tournaments -- the MIAA/CCIW Classic (Dec. 4-5), the Holland Sentinel Community Tournament (Dec. 11-12), and the Russ DeVette Holiday Classic (Dec. 29-30).
Two pre-season Division III polls included the Flying Dutchmen. DIII News placed Hope 11th while D3hoops.com put them in 23rd.
The 08-09 team led the nation's Division III teams in home attendance and in four seasons at the DeVos Fieldhouse are 62-4.