Name: Bethel College
Location: North Newton, Kansas
Colors: Maroon and grey
Head coach: Gary Chupp
Alma mater: Eastern Mennonite '92
Record at Bethel: 36-31 (3rd season)
Ass't coach: Jason Martens
Ass't coach: Mark Skinner
Student ass't: David Hiebner
Head trainer: Russell Graber
Conference: Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
1999-2000 Overall record: 12-16
1999-2000 KCAC record: 7-10
Last KCAC championship: 1999
Starters returning/lost: 4/3
KCAC Member schools: Bethany, Bethel, Friends, Kansas Wesleyan, McPherson, Ottawa, Saint Mary, Southwestern, Sterling, Tabor.
Chupp returns to Founders Hall
Current season record: 4-6
Head Coach Gary Chupp returns to familiar surroundings this weekend as he leads his Bethel College Thresher squad into Founders Hall. Chupp was an assistant coach under BC head coach Guy Neal at Bluffton during the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons as the Beavers finished 14-12 both years. Chupp helped guide Bethel to the 1999 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference title and was named the KCAC Coach of the Year. Bethel finished 11-15 last season and 6-9 in the KCAC.
Five Bethel players still remain from that 1999 KCAC championship squad, including senior co-captains Aaron Stucky and Michael Widener. Stucky missed most of last season with a knee injury but still picked up honorable mention All-KCAC honors after being named first team All-KCAC as a sophomore. Named by Coach Chupp as the best defensive player he has ever coached, Stucky is one of three Bethel players averaging double figures this season with 10.6 points per game. He is also one of the Treshers top outside threats, having hit 21 three-pointers.
Widener missed all of last season with a wrist injury but has come back strong this season to lead the Threshers with 11.2 points per game. He is tied for the team lead with 5.6 rebounds per game. Tyler Hoopes and Brad Thimm, who also plays football for bethel, round out the senior class, combining for 5.2 points per game.
Due to injuries to Stucky and Widener last season, a talented group of freshmen saw significant playing time and are back this season as sophomores. Leading the way in that group are Chez McGavock, Kevin Manning and Frank Flores. McGavock averages 4.4 points per game and has collected a team-best 42 assists. Manning, who sat out Bethel's last game with an injured knee, is averaging 8.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game so far this season, while Flores averages 8.7 points per contest. Freshman Adrian Howie has hit a team-best 22 three-pointers and is playing well along with returning starter Garry Albright, a sophomore.
The Threshers' size is impressive, as Manning stands 6-10, Flores stands 6-3 and freshmen Howie and Jamie Copeland stand 6-5 and 6-8, respectively. However, Bethel has been outrebounded by their opponents by an average of nearly four rebounds per game this season and is shooting just 37% from the floor and 61% from the free throw line. Those numbers don't rank well in the KCAC standings, as the Threshers rank 8th in scoring, 9th in the two shooting departments and 10th in rebounding.
But the Bethel defense will keep the Threshers in the game. Bethel ranks first in the KCAC in scoring defense, allowing just 69.3 points per game. That's just about right for Coach Chupp, who spent two seasons at Gevena College where he was instrumental in developing a defensive system that was nationally ranked for two consecutive years.