Team preview: Centenary

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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

The face of Centenary basketball changed April 1. That's when Rob Flaska was hired to succeed Kevin Johnson (65-100 record in six years), who resigned at season's end.

A nationally recognized recruiter, Flaska was Stan Heath's top assistant at Arkansas for three seasons.

"His work ethic and passion for the game will infuse energy into their program," Heath said at the time of Flaska's hire. "He is well-prepared and has good experience, which will help him be successful."

While Flaska's hire was a bright point after an abysmal season in which the Gents went 3-24 (1-15 in the Mid-Continent Conference), what happened May 3 rocked the program in ways unimaginable.

Just a month after Flaska was hired, senior forward Chad Maclies was found dead of natural causes in his dorm room.

A program reeling from a forgettable season suddenly rallied around the loss of a teammate, a classmate, a friend, and an ambassador for the university.

"It was more than just on the floor," Flaska said. "It affected the whole community, the college. Chad was so highly considered. He was an exceptional student, an ultimate role model. He was embedded in this school for four years. It was a really tough situation."