Local Sports

Saturday, November 09, 2013

College Basketball: Samsel's UF role changed from a year ago


Sean Samsel is used to being a point guard. It's the position he played throughout his high school career at Dupont Manual in Louisville, Ky. and during his first three seasons with the University of Findlay men's basketball team.

Things have changed, though, after Alphonso Baity came on strong last year and moved into the starting lineup. Samsel is certainly capable of running the floor at anytime, but he is adjusting to life as a two-guard.

"For the last seven years, I've always had the ball in my hand," Samsel said. "Now, I'm playing without the ball. I have to get used to not doing anything initally with the ball. I have to let the game come to me."

Samsel has learned to adjust over the last few weeks in practice and also had a chance to get a feel for his role in a pair of exhibitions last weekend.

Samsel played 13 minutes and grabbed two rebounds in an 80-76 win over Wright State last Friday. The next night, against Dayton, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior scored three points, dished out three assists and pulled down three rebounds in a 96-87 loss to the Flyers. He played 22 minutes.

"I've gotten more used to everything, and the exhibition games really helped out," Samsel said. "I'm confident I'll continue to get better as the year goes on."

Samsel is coming off a junior campaign in which he averaged 3.5 points per game and knocked down 24 3-pointers. He also dished out 64 assists and racked up 27 steals.

Head coach Charlie Ernst expects Samsel to play a pivotal role in the success of the No. 11-ranked Oilers, who raise the curtain on their season today with a 7 p.m. non-conference game versus Marygrove College at Croy Gymnasium.

"It's going to require sacrifice on his part, and I'm sure he would like to play more, but his role is still very important in a lot of ways," Ernst said. "He has a lot of experience and has been involved in a lot of big games here."

Marygrove, an NAIA team, fell 78-67 to Roosevelt University in its season opener on Nov. 2.

Freshman forward Jimmy Stewart scored 16 points and sophomore guard Diante Taylor had 13.

"In our exhibition games we were the hunter. We are back to being the hunted," Ernst said. "Last year, we opened with (top-ranked) West Liberty. They are no West Liberty, but nonetheless, it's the first obstacle to overcome."

Lester: 419-422-5151,


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