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Broncos Open 2012-13 Season at Cornell

Courtesy: Sean Fagan, Assistant Director of Media Relations
Release: 11/08/2012
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Western Michigan Broncos at Cornell Big Red
Ithaca, N.Y. // Newman Arena
Saturday, November 10 // 12 p.m.
First meeting

Broadcast Information
Radio // Bronco Radio Network
Announcers // Sean Fagan
Stations // WKZO - 96.5 FM: (Flagship) Kalamazoo, Portage, Mattawan; WMAX - 96.1 FM: Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon; WVIC - 94.1 FM: Lansing, Jackson, Battle Creek
Broadcast // Pre-game show begins at 11:30 a.m.

Live Stats // Live Audio // Live Video



• This will be the first-ever meeting between Western Michigan and Cornell
• This will be just the second time in program history the Broncos have played an Ivy League program; they lost to Princeton 62-59 at the Sooner Invitational on November 22, 2002
• This will be the first time the Broncos have played a game on an Ivy League campus
Steve Hawkins has 159 career wins, which ranks second among WMU head coaches in program history
• The Broncos both of their preseason exhibition games, defeating Kalamazoo College 93-50 and Roosevelt 81-60
Austin Richie averaged 5.6 points per game as a freshman in 2011-12, but averaged 9.4 points per game in his eight starts that season
• WMU head coach Steve Hawkins has won five MAC West titles in the previous nine seasons at the reins of the program
• The Broncos welcome eight freshmen to their ranks in 2012-13, the most they have had on the roster since the start of the 2008-09 season
Connar Tava scored a game-high 21 points in the Broncos' exhibition win over Kalamazoo College
• The Broncos were picked to finish third in the MAC West division in the Preseason MAC Media Poll, behind Toledo and Eastern Michigan
Nate Hutcheson was named a Preseason All-MAC West selection in the Preseason MAC Media Poll
Nate Hutcheson is the lone returning starter for the Broncos in 2012-13
• The Broncos are slated to appear on television at least four times in 2012-13: at Mchigan (12/4), at North Carolina State (12/29), at Ball State (2/9), and at home against Northern Illinois (2/16)
• The Broncos will host a pair of Saturday night home games in 2012-13, the first time they've done so in many years; they will host the Buffalo Bulls on Feb. 2 and the Northern Illinois Huskies on Feb. 16

The Broncos were picked to finish third in the MAC Preseason Media poll, earning 88 points in the voting.  The Broncos were picked to finish behind Toledo and 2011-12 MAC West champion Eastern Michigan.

MAC West - Predicted Order of Finish
1. Toledo - 143 Votes (20 first place votes)
2. Eastern Michigan - 118 Votes (4)
3. Western Michigan - 88 Votes
4. Ball State - 74 Votes
5. Northern Illinois - 46 Votes
6. Central Michigan - 35 Votes
MAC East - Predicted Order of Finish
1. Ohio - 141 Votes (19 first place votes)
2. Akron - 122 Votes (5)
3. Kent State - 89 Votes
4. Buffalo - 68 Votes
5. Bowling Green - 53 Votes
6. Miami - 31 Votes

In addition to the preseason standings predictions, the Preseason Media Poll also released the names of those players named Preseason All-MAC.  Western Michigan’s Nate Hutcheson was among the five players named a Preseason All-MAC West selection.

MAC West - Preseason All-MAC Team
Jesse Berry, Ball State
Abdel Nader, Northern Illinois
Rian Pearson, Toledo
Julius Brown, Toledo
Nate Hutcheson, Western Michigan

MAC East - Preseason All-MAC Team

Zeke Marshall, Akron
A’uston Calhoun, Bowling Green
Javon McCrea, Buffalo
Walter Offutt, Ohio
D.J. Cooper, Ohio

The Broncos’ Dec. 23, 2011 win at Oakland was the 150th win for Steve Hawkins as head coach of the Broncos.  He is one of just three coaches in program history to win 150 games as a Bronco, joining Bob Donewald and Herbert “Buck” Read.  Against Toledo, Hawkins won his 153rd career game, surpassing Bob Donewald for second place on the career wins list.  Hawkins achieved the feat in just nine seasons, as compared to 11 seasons for Donewald.  The program’s all-time wins leader is Read, who finished with 345 career wins.

Head coach Steve Hawkins currently has 296 career head coaching victories, split between his time at Quincy and Western Michigan.  He needs just four more victories to reach 300 wins for his career.

The Western Michigan men’s basketball program welcomed back a familiar face when veteran coach Clayton Bates was hired to fill the final vacancy on the coaching staff.  Bates served as an assistant coach for the Broncos two other times in his career; he was part of the staff from 2001-08 as an assistant coach, at first alongside coach Steve Hawkins and later as an assistant on Hawkins’ staff.  Bates left for a brief period and returned to be an assistant on the 2009-10 staff before heading off to become an assistant at Wright State.

James Holland, a veteran assistant coach with nearly 30 years of experience, joins the Broncos’ coaching staff for the 2012-13 season after having spent several seasons at Alabama.  A member of the USC Upstate (formerly USC-Spartanburg) Athletics Hall of Fame, Holland has served as an assistant coach at a number of programs across the spectrum of college basketball, and even spent some time as a scout for the Washington Wizards.

Entering his second season as a full-time assistant coach, David Kool ranks as one of the great Bronco student-athletes in any athletic program.  Kool holds many of the Broncos’ career scoring records, including career scoring; he is the only player in program history to score more than 2,000 points in his career.

Western Michigan owns the best conference winning percentage in the MAC West division over the last five seasons; they have gone 44-36 in conference games since the start of the 2007-08 season for a .550 winning percentage.  No other MAC West program can boast a winning record in that time span.


Two of the Broncos’ freshmen in the 2012-13 season will be using their redshirt season.  Kellen McCormick and Von Washington will sit out the 2012-13 season.

Bronco freshman Darius Paul isn’t the only one in the house that has gone on to play Division I men’s basketball.  Big brother Brandon Paul is a starting guard for the Illinois Fighting Illini, and is about to enter his senior season.


Of the Broncos’ eight freshmen in 2012-13, four of them come from a football background in high school.  Charles Harris was a receiver that made a visit to Notre Dame before committing to Western Michigan for basketball; Connar Tava was offered the option of playing tight end at both Michigan and Michigan State as a preferred walk-on; Jared Klein played quarterback and punter  for his high school team at Otsego; and Von Washington served as quarterback for Kalamazoo Central.

Point guard Austin Richie averaged 5.6 points per game in his freshman season with the Broncos, but showed much more aptitude when he was a member of the Broncos’ starting five.  Richie’s scoring average jumped to 9.4 points per game in his eight starts in 2011-12, including five double-digit scoring performances. 

This will be the first time the Broncos have ever played a game on an Ivy League campus, and in fact, this will be the first time that a Steve Hawkins-led team has ever played against an Ivy League school, period.  Hawkins was involved in one previous game against an Ivy League school, however; he was an assistant coach on the Western Michigan staff when the Broncos lost to Princeton on Nov. 22, 2002.  That game was a 62-59 loss at the Sooner Invitational, hosted by Oklahoma.

For the 10th straight season, the Broncos will be competing in a preseason non-conference tournament when they take part in the South Florida MTE.  The Broncos will face Loyola-Chicago, Maryland-Eastern Shore, and South Florida in the three-day tournament.

The Broncos are currently scheduled to appear on television four times in 2012-13, with one of those games coming to University Arena.  The Broncos will make their television debut when they play at Michigan (12/4), a game that will appear on the Big Ten Network.  The next televised game will be on ESPNU, when the Broncos play North Carolina State (12/29) in a noon tip.  The Broncos will appear on SportsTime Ohio twice in the month of February, playing at Ball State (2/9) and home against Northern Illinois (2/16).  Both games are scheduled for 6 p.m. tip-offs.

The Broncos will feature eight freshmen on their 2012-13 squad, the largest group of rookie players since the 2008-09 season.  Coincidentally, that freshman class also feature eight players.


Freshman Kellen McCormick has strong basketball bloodlines, with his father and uncle each earning success in their collegiate basketball careers; in the case of his father, that success stretched into the professional game.  McCormick’s father Tim McCormick played basketball at Michigan in the 1980’s, and was a first-round NBA draft pick in the 1984 NBA Draft.  Tim McCormick played for six teams in his 10-year career.  Kellen McCormick’s uncle Mike McCormick was a letterwinner at Kent State, and earned Academic All-MAC honors in 1985.