The Cardinal Men's Basketball team showed great growth from its young 2018-2019 men's basketball team. The Cardinals took a team with just one senior and made a big time improvement. This one senior, Fred John Jr. showed leadership with his ability to play by example through his work ethic and toughness on the court. The Cardinals sealed a trip to the postseason, competing in the 2020 GLIAC Tournament as the No. 6 conference seed. The GLIAC postseason appearance was SVSU's second in three years, while posting an overall record of 16-13, which included a mark of 10-10 in league action. The 6-win increase from the previous season is the 5th largest jump in the program's history, and the team plans to continue its upward trend next season.
With only graduating one senior, the Cardinal's will be returning the majority of their core players for the 2020-2021 campaign, including a pair of guards who received postseason accolades. Sophomore guard Myles Belyeu racked-up several honors following his second season for the Cardinals. The 6-3 guard was second in the GLIAC with his 21.0 points-per-game and fourth with his 7.3 rebounds-per-game. His 82.4% free throw percentage ranked fourth in the league as well. Myles led the league in total minutes played with 998. He earned All-GLIAC First Team honors for his stellar play, making it two years straight after also being named All-GLIAC his Freshmen season. Belyeu was honored with a pair of regional plaudits as well. He was named to the Division II Conference Commissioner's Association (D2CCA) All-Midwest Region Second Team and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District Second Team for the Midwest region.
Junior guard Malik Ellison garnered postseason recognition as well, being named to the All-GLIAC Second Team in 2019-20. Ellison had the fifth-best scoring average in the GLIAC this season, turning in 17.7 points-per-game. He ranked sixth in total minutes played (964) and sixth in the league with his 72 three-pointers. His 47 steals led the team and ranked fifth in the GLIAC as well.
2019-20 SVSU Men's Basketball Highlights
A Cardinal duo surpassed the 1,000-point mark during the 2019-20 season as well. First up was Belyeu, who crossed that milestone mark with a 24-point effort in a game on Feb. 15 versus Davenport University. Next it was junior guard Darnell Hoskins Jr., who hit the 1,000-point marker with 14 points in the SVSU victory over Wayne State on Feb. 22. Hoskins is now ranked fourth all-time with his 175 career three-pointers after setting the single season mark with 85 last season.
The SVSU Men's Basketball Program had the opportunity to honor a trio of graduates from this year's team in conjunction with the regular season finale at home versus Northwood University. The Cardinals honored forwards Fred John Jr. and Lachlan Anthony, along with student assistant Jacob Bunea.
Fred John Jr. is a native of Detroit, Michigan and played three seasons for the Cardinals. He competed in 80 career games, starting 61 of them. He registered a shooting percentage of 48.8% and scored 593 career points with 430 rebounds. Head Coach Randy Baruth added, "We are very thankful to have had Fred in this program for 3 years. He brought a great work ethic and showed all of his young teammates how to have a true team attitude by going out and doing his job each day, without complaint."
Lachlan Anthony is a native of Patterson Lakes, Australia, and was a part of the program for three seasons. He competed in 37 career games for Saginaw Valley. "Lachlan had a career cut short by injury," said Coach Baruth. "He showed incredible perseverance by trying to come back and help his teammates after multiple injuries and surgeries. He gave the program all he had and is a great representative of who we are and our absolutes. We are grateful for Lach's time here and know his grit will pay off in life off the court in a major way."
Jacob Bunea was a student assistant coach for five seasons. He has been an integral part of the team's operations and helped lead the Cardinals to 80 victories on the court. He is a native of Imlay City and is set to graduate with a degree in finance with a minor in athletic coaching. Coach Baruth added: "What can you say about Jacob.. He started with us 5 years ago and is probably the most beloved young man in the program's history. Jacob is the kind of young man that never has a bad day and is a true joy to be around at all times. He will be doing great things in his life, no question."